Wulf A. Kaal

University of St. Thomas, Minnesota – School of Law

Nick Farris

University of St. Thomas – School of Law (Minnesota)

Date Written: November 29, 2017


We examine the relationship between innovation as measured by annual utility patents granted and two datasets for legislation: (1) the U.S. Code and (2) the Code of Federal Regulations from 1984 to 2015. We show that the historical relationship between innovation and legislation has changed, especially for computer and communication patents. The evidence suggests that the existing regulatory infrastructure has a diminishing capacity to react to innovation. The evolving empirical relationship between innovation and legislation has implications for the legal system and rulemaking processes in the existing regulatory framework.

Keywords: Innovation, Measures of Innovation, Legislation, Measures of Legislation, CFR, U.S. Code, Patents, Data, Matching

JEL Classification: K20, K23, K32, L43, L5, O31, O32

Kaal , Wulf A. and Farris, Nick, Innovation and Legislation: The Changing Relationship – Evidence from 1984 to 2015 (November 29, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s