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The Role of Fees in Patent Systems: Theory and Evidence

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  • Gaétan de Rassenfosse
  • Bruno Van Pottelsberghe

Abstract

This paper reviews the economic literature on the role of fees in patent systems. Two main research questions are usually addressed: the impact of patent fees on the behavior of applicants and the question of optimal fees. Studies in the former group confirm that a range of fees affect the behavior of applicants and suggest that a patent is an inelastic good. Studies in the latter group provide grounds for both low and high application (or pre-grant) fees and renewal (or post-grant) fees, depending on the structural context and on the policy objectives. The paper also presents new stylized facts on patent fees of thirty patent offices worldwide. It is shown that application fees are generally lower than renewal fees, and renewal fees increase more than proportionally with patent age (to the notable exception of Switzerland and the U.S.).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers ECARES with number ECARES 2010-023.

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Length: 27 p.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/57652

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Keywords: application fees; price elasticity; patent system; Intellectual property policy; renewal fees;

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References

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  1. Jérôme Danguy & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2011. "Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Community Patent," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/101071, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Masaaki Kotabe, 1992. "A Comparative Study of U.S. and Japanese Patent Systems," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 23(1), pages 147-168, March.
  3. de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & van Pottelsberghe, Bruno, 2008. "On the price elasticity of demand for patents," CEPR Discussion Papers 7029, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Adams, Kay & Kim, Douglas & Joutz, Frederick L. & Trost, Robert P. & Mastrogianis, Gus, 1997. "Modeling and forecasting U.S. Patent application filings," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 491-535, October.
  5. de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & van Pottelsberghe, Bruno, 2008. "A Policy Insight into the R&D-Patent Relationship," CEPR Discussion Papers 6716, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Georg LICHT & Konrad ZOZ, 1998. "Patents and R&D, An Econometric Investigation Using Applications for German, European and US Patents by German Companies," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 49-50, pages 329-360.
  7. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Didier François, 2009. "The cost factor in patent systems," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13422, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Harhoff, Dietmar & Hoisl, Karin & Reichl, Bettina & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2009. "Patent validation at the country level--The role of fees and translation costs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 1423-1437, November.
  9. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2010. "The Quality Factor in Patent Systems," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2010-027, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. Robert M. Hunt, 2006. "When do more patents reduce R&D?," Working Papers 06-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  11. Harhoff, Dietmar & Hoisl, Karin & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2009. "Languages, Fees and the International Scope of Patenting," CEPR Discussion Papers 7241, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Petra Moser, 2007. "Why Don't Inventors Patent?," NBER Working Papers 13294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Lemley, Mark, 2000. "Rational Ignorance at the Patent Office," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt1tc166q2, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  14. Carine Peeters & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2006. "Innovation strategy and the patenting behavior of firms," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9043, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  15. Palangkaraya, Alfons & Jensen, Paul H. & Webster, Elizabeth, 2008. "Applicant behaviour in patent examination request lags," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 243-245, December.
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  18. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 1997. "Trade in Ideas: Patenting and Productivity in the OECD," NBER Working Papers 5049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  20. Deng, Yi, 2005. "Private Value of European Patents," Departmental Working Papers 0513, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  21. Eugenio Archontopoulos & Dominique Guellec & Niels Stevnsborg & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2007. "When small is beautiful: measuring the evolution and consequences of the voluminosity of patent applications at the EPO," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6191, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  22. Arundel, Anthony & Kabla, Isabelle, 1998. "What percentage of innovations are patented? empirical estimates for European firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 127-141, June.
  23. 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.
  24. Emmanuel DUGUET & Isabelle KABLA, 1998. "Appropriation Strategy and the Motivations to Use the Patent System: An Econometric Analysis at the Firm Level in French Manufacturing," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 49-50, pages 289-327.
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  26. Gans Joshua S & King Stephen P & Lampe Ryan, 2004. "Patent Renewal Fees and Self-Funding Patent Offices," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-15, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Picard, Pierre M & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2011. "Patent Office Governance and Patent System Quality," CEPR Discussion Papers 8338, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. de Saint-Georges, Matthis & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2013. "A quality index for patent systems," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 704-719.
  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. Picard, Pierre M. & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2013. "Patent office governance and patent examination quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 14-25.

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