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Pre-emptive patenting: securing market exclusion and freedom of operation

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  • Dominique Guellec
  • Catalina Martinez
  • Pluvia Zuniga

Abstract

We investigate statistically the characteristics, functioning and incidence of pre-emptive patenting, defined as patent filings whose main effect is to hamper the grant of other patents. Patent applications can be used defensively to prevent the grant of exclusive rights over markets and technologies, in order to ensure freedom of operation or keep competitors out of a given technological field. Combining data from examination outcomes and prior art at the European Patent Office, we develop a methodology to identify pre-emptive patent applications. We find evidence of pre-emption associated with patent applications cited as compromising patentability while not being deemed relevant to the state of the art. We also find that, among them, those which are withdrawn have the strongest pre-emptive power. The coincidence of low inventiveness and high pre-emptive impact supports the idea that some of these patents may be strategically designed by their applicants to block patenting by others.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/10438599.2010.536378
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Economics of Innovation and New Technology.

Volume (Year): 21 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 1-29

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:21:y:2012:i:1:p:1-29

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Cited by:
  1. Malva, Antonio Della & Hussinger, Katrin, 2012. "Corporate science in the patent system: An analysis of the semiconductor technology," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 118-135.
  2. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Hélène Dernis & Geert Boedt, 2014. "An Introduction to the Patstat Database with Example Queries," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2014n08, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  3. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2009. "Political ideology and economic freedom across Canadian provinces," Working Papers CEB 09-054.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Christian Le Bas & Julien Pénin, 2014. "Patents and innovation : Are the brakes broken, or how to restore patents’ dynamic efficiency ?," Working Papers of BETA 2014-02, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  5. Grimpe, Christoph & Hussinger, Katrin, 2014. "Pre-empted patents, infringed patents and firms’ participation in markets for technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 543-554.

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