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Patente in der europäischen Finanzindustrie: terra incognita?

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  • Stefan Wagner

Abstract

The imprecise wording of article 52 of the European Patent Convention lead to uncertainty with regard to the patentability of inventions related to financial methods and processes at the European Patent Office (EPO). This article summarizes the relevant legislation in Europe and contrasts it with the legislation in the US. In the empirical part of the paper, 1,761 EPO patent applications based on inventions related to financial methods and processes are identified. The analysis of those patent applications demonstrates that only 20 Prozent of the completed application procedures led to a fi nal patent grant. Compared to an overall grant rate of about 68 Prozent at the EPO this finding highlights that the EPO pursues a restrictive approach towards the award of "financial patents". This finding bears relevance for the future design of a regulatory framework for the financial industry: Widespread patenting could hinder fast diffusion of financial innovation and hamper regulators' efforts to implement them. Die unklare Formulierung des Artikels 52 des Europäischen Patentübereinkommens hat zu einer Unsicherheit bezüglich der Patentierbarkeit von Erfindungen mit finanzwirtschaftlichem Hintergrund am Europäischen Patentamt (EPA) geführt. Der vorliegende Artikel gibt einen Überblick über die geltende Rechtslage in Europa und stellt sie den relevanten Regelungen in den USA gegenüber. In einer empirischen Erhebung werden 1761 Patentanmeldungen am EPA identifiziert, denen eine Erfindung mit finanzwirtschaftlichem Hintergrund zu Grunde liegt. Die Analyse dieser Patente zeigt, dass nur lediglich circa 20 Prozent aller bisher abgeschlossenen Anmeldeverfahren zu einer Patentgewährung geführt haben. Verglichen mit einer durchschnittlichen langfristigen Gewährungsrate von rund 68 Prozent scheint das EPA restriktiv bei der Gewährung von "Finanzpatenten" zu sein. Dieses Ergebnis ist für die Bemühungen um einen neuen regulativen Rahmen zur Vermeidung zukünftiger Finanzmarktkrisen relevant. Eine umfassende Patentierung könnte einer schnellen Verbreitung von aus regulatorischen Gründen gewünschten Methoden im Wege stehen.

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File URL: http://ejournals.duncker-humblot.de/doi/pdf/10.3790/vjh.78.1.156
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its journal Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung.

Volume (Year): 78 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 156-166

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Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:78-1-12

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Keywords: Business method patents; financial industry; financial innovation; European Patent Office;

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