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Economic Incongruities in the European Patent System

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  • Malwina Mejer
  • Bruno Van Pottelsberghe

Abstract

This paper argues that the consequences of the ‘fragmentation’ of the European patent system are more dramatic than the mere prohibitive costs of maintaining a patent in force in many jurisdictions. First, detailed analysis of judicial systems in several European countries and four case studies provide evidence suggesting that heterogeneous national litigation costs, practices and outcome induce a high level of uncertainty. Second, a high degree of managerial complexity results from systemic incongruities due to easier ‘parallel imports’, possible ‘time paradoxes’ and the de facto paradox of having EU-level competition policy and granting authority ultimately facing national jurisdictional primacy on patent issues. These high degrees of uncertainty and complexity contribute to reduce the effectiveness of the European patent system and provide additional arguments in favour of the Community patent and a centralized litigation in Europe.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers ECARES with number 2009_003.

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Length: 16 p.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2009_003

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Keywords: European patent system; patent cost; litigation process; enforcement; uncertainty;

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References

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  1. James E. Bessen & Michael J. Meurer, 2006. "Patent Litigation with Endogenous Disputes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 77-81, May.
  2. Kyle Margaret, 2011. "Strategic Responses to Parallel Trade," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-34, January.
  3. Mejer, Malwina & van Pottelsberghe, Bruno, 2008. "The London Agreement and the Cost of Patenting in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 7033, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Graham, Stuart J.H. & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2006. "Can Post-Grant Reviews Improve Patent System Design? A Twin Study of US and European Patents," CEPR Discussion Papers 5680, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2011. "The quality factor in patent systems," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(6), pages 1755-1793, December.
  6. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Carine Peeters, 2006. "Economic and management perspectives on intellectual property rights," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6185, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Lerner, Josh, 1995. "Patenting in the Shadow of Competitors," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 463-95, October.
  8. Claude Crampes & Corinne Langinier, 2002. "Litigation and Settlement in Patent Infringement Cases," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(2), pages 258-274, Summer.
  9. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, . "Lost property: The European patent system and why it doesn't work," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 312, December.
  10. Ariel Pakes & Mark Schankerman, 1979. "The Rate of Obsolescence Of Knowledge, Research Gestation Lags, and the Private Rate of Return to Research Resources," NBER Working Papers 0346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00595493 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, 2010. "The quality factor in patent systems," Working Papers 422, Bruegel.
  3. Agnieszka Kupzok & Julien Pénin, 2013. "Les enjeux économiques du brevet unitaire européen," Bulletin de l'Observatoire des politiques économiques en Europe, Observatoire des Politiques Économiques en Europe (OPEE), vol. 29(6), December.
  4. Dietmar Harhoff & Georg von Graevenitz & Stefan Wagner, 2012. "Conflict resolution, public goods and patent thickets," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-12-04 (R1), ESMT European School of Management and Technology, revised 25 Mar 2013.
  5. Bruno van Pottelsberghe & Jérôme Danguy, 2009. "Cost Benefit Analysis of the Community Patent," Working Papers 366, Bruegel.
  6. Cremers, Katrin & Ernicke, Max & Gaessler, Fabian & Harhoff, Dietmar & Helmers, Christian & McDonagh, Luke & Schliessler, Paula & Van Zeebroeck, Nicolas, 2013. "Patent litigation in Europe," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-072, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Hughes, A. & Mina, A., 2010. "The Impact of the Patent System on SMEs," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp411, ESRC Centre for Business Research.

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