Do lawyers matter? Evidence from patents

Research output: Working paper

8 Downloads (Pure)


We investigate the role of patent attorney capability in determining the economic and technological value of patents. First, we establish a positive correlation between attorneys' substantive expertise (success rate in obtaining patents) and the economic and technological value of patents. Also, we find no evidence that attorneys' process experience (number of patent applications filed) matters for patents. Then we identify the causal effect of patent attorney expertise by using two alternative approaches: changing to a more capable attorney and the openings of four new regional offices by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) between 2012 and 2015. Overall, we find that successful patent attorneys matter as they increase both the economic and technological value of patents. Therefore, innovative firms that employ patent attorneys should closely monitor their success track record.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Number of pages61
Publication statusSubmitted - 15 Feb 2022


  • patent attorney
  • patent value
  • patent quality
  • event study


Dive into the research topics of 'Do lawyers matter? Evidence from patents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this