CESifo working paper: Industrial Organisation 3657
We provide a treatment of a number of questions pertaining to pending patents - a subject that has so-far mainly been discussed en-passant in the existing literature. We present the underlying institutional and legal framework that governs pending patents and some basic facts related to them. Then, we focus on the strategic considerations of firms in the earliest stage of the patenting process and the interplay with the patent office. This is followed by considering the perspective of the patent and trademark offices (PTOs), in particular, acknowledging the limited resources that are available to PTOs. Finally, we investigate the potential abuse of pending patents and the role of reputation of patenting firms.