‘Patent design’ is the discipline which studies the substantive features of the patent system (subject matter, inventive step, scope, duration) from the point of view of their economic effects. From an economic perspective, a ‘good patent system’ is one which encourages inventions and does not hamper their diffusion. This dual test is applied when evaluating any particular feature of a patent system from the point of view of ‘economic quality’. The chapter offers a critical and comprehensive economic analysis of each of these aspects of patent design.
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