Who Wins in First-to-Invent Patent System?
sample of patent interferences to investigate the impact of patent policies on innovation
strategies, and found that
In any event, the authors' data appears to support the argument that the first-to-file "Senior Party" usually wins the interference anyway:
Like other critics, we do not find evidence that the system works to the benefit of
small inventors or firms. Small firms rarely avail themselves of the interference process. But if we assume that the winner of an interference is the first-to-invent, the results suggest that small inventors do not suffer from a filing disability. Alternatively, there is some indication that other groups do have such problems - both the u.s. government and u.s. universities, for example, are far more likely to enter our sample as junior parties, yet they win a reasonable share of cases, which suggests that both institutions systematically take longer to fie patent applications than do private firms and individuals. However, we need more data to establish the trend statistically.