Bronwyn H. Hall
From The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008
Edited by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume
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A patent is the legal right of an inventor to exclude others from making or using a particular invention. This right is sometimes termed an ‘intellectual property right’ and is viewed as an encouragement for innovation. This article gives a brief history of patenting, and discusses the legal and administrative process for obtaining a patent in the major world jurisdictions. Evidence on patent effectiveness in encouraging innovation is surveyed, and the article concludes with a discussion of the use of patent data in economic analysis.
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How to cite this article

Hall, Bronwyn H. "patents." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second Edition. Eds. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online. Palgrave Macmillan. 13 December 2017 <> doi:10.1057/9780230226203.1254

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