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Financial Patenting in Europe

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  • Bronwyn H. Hall
  • Grid Thoma
  • Salvatore Torrisi

Abstract

We take a first look at financial patents at the European Patent Office (EPO). As is the case at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the number of financial patents in Europe has increased significantly in parallel with significant changes in payment and financial systems. Scholars have argued that financial patents, like other business methods patents, have low value and are owned for strategic reasons rather than for protecting real inventions. We find that established firms in non-financial sectors with diversified patent portfolios own a large share of financial patents at the EPO. However, new specialized technology providers in the financial area also hold a number of such patents. Decisions on the financial patent applications take longer and they are more likely to be refused by the patent office, suggesting greater uncertainty over validity than for other patents. They are also more likely to be opposed, which is consistent with the fact that their other economic value indicators are higher.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14714.

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Date of creation: Feb 2009
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Publication status: published as Hall, B. H., Thoma, G. and Torrisi, S. (2009), Financial patenting in Europe. European Management Review, 6: 45–63. doi: 10.1057/emr.2009.3
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14714

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Rentocchini, Francesco, 2011. "Sources and characteristics of software patents in the European Union: Some empirical considerations," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 141-157, March.
  2. Korkeamäki, Timo & Takalo, Tuomas, 2010. "Valuation of innovation: The case of iPhone," MPRA Paper, University Library of Munich, Germany 28042, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2009. "Business and Financial Method Patents, Innovation, and Policy," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 14868, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Cédric Schneider, 2011. "The battle for patent rights in plant biotechnology: evidence from opposition fillings," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, Springer, vol. 36(5), pages 565-579, October.
  5. Sandner, Philipp G. & Block, Joern, 2011. "The market value of R&D, patents, and trademarks," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 969-985, September.

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