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Per un Pugno di Dollari: A first Look at the Price Elasticity of Patents

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  • de Rassenfosse, Gaétan
  • van Pottelsberghe, Bruno

Abstract

This paper analyzes the role of patent filing fees requested by the member states of the European Patent Convention (EPC). We provide a first empirical evidence showing that the fee elasticity of the demand for priority applications is negative and significant. Given the strong variation in absolute fees and in fees per capita across countries, this result witnesses a suboptimal treatment of inventors across European countries and suggests that fees should be considered as an integral part of an IP policy, especially in the current context of worrying backlogs. In addition, we show that the transfer rate of domestic priority filings to the EPO increases with the duration of membership to the EPO and the GDP per capita of a country, suggesting that member states experience a learning curve within the EPC. The high heterogeneity in the transfer rates casts some doubts on the practice that consists in relying on filings at the EPO or at the USPTO to assess innovative performance of countries.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6499.

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Date of creation: Sep 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6499

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Keywords: fees; patent filing; price elasticity;

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  1. Furman, Jeffrey L. & Porter, Michael E. & Stern, Scott, 2002. "The determinants of national innovative capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 899-933, August.
  2. Carine Peeters & Bruno Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2006. "Innovation strategy and the patenting behavior of firms," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 109-135, April.
  3. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Eugenio Archontopoulos & Dominique Guellec & Niels Stevnsborg & Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2006. "When small is beautiful: measuring the evolution and consequences of the voluminosity of patent applications at the EPO," Working Papers CEB 06-019.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
  5. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dominique Guellec & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2007. "Patent as a market instrument," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/60728, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Laura Bottazzi & Giovanni Peri, . "Innovation and Spillovers in Regions: Evidence from European Patent Data," Working Papers 215, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  8. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2001. "The internationalisation of technology analysed with patent data," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6223, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Carine Peeters, 2006. "Economic and management perspectives on intellectual property rights," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6185, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. Samuel S. Kortum & Jonathan Eaton, 1995. "Trade in ideas: patenting and productivity in the OECD," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-9, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & H. Denis & Dominique Guellec, 2001. "Using patent counts for cross-country comparisons of technology output," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6227, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Tax Subsidies for Health Insurance: Evaluating the Costs and Benefits," NBER Working Papers 7553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Grupp, Hariolf & Schmoch, Ulrich, 1999. "Patent statistics in the age of globalisation: new legal procedures, new analytical methods, new economic interpretation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 377-396, April.
  14. Ginarte, Juan C. & Park, Walter G., 1997. "Determinants of patent rights: A cross-national study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 283-301, October.
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