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When small is beautiful: measuring the evolution and consequences of the voluminosity of patent applications at the EPO

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  • Eugenio Archontopoulos
  • Dominique Guellec
  • Niels Stevnsborg
  • Bruno Van Pottelsberghe
  • Nicolas van Zeebroeck

Abstract

The joint increase in the number and size of patents filed around the world puts patent systems under pressure. This paper addresses issues in measuring the voluminosity of patent applications and highlights patterns in its evolution. The results, based on a database of 2 million EPO applications, show that the average size of applications has doubled over the past 20 years and that this is mainly associated with PCT applications having a US priority. Voluminosity indicators are influenced by geographical origins and technological areas and strongly impact the workload of the EPO, justifying the need for regulatory and policy actions. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/6191.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Publication status: Published in: Information Economics and Policy (2007) v.19 n° 2,p.103-132
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/6191

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Keywords: Patent applications; Patent drafting; Patent statistics; Patent systems; Patent voluminosity; Workload;

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References

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  1. Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Wook Han, 2005. "Issues in measuring the degree of technological specialisation with patent data," Working Papers CEB 05-016.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Tong, Xuesong & Frame, J. Davidson, 1994. "Measuring national technological performance with patent claims data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 133-141, March.
  3. George Lazaridis & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2007. "The rigour of EPO's patentability criteria: An insight into the "induced withdrawals"," Working Papers CEB 07-007.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Guellec, Dominique & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2007. "The Economics of the European Patent System: IP Policy for Innovation and Competition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199216987.
  5. van Zeebroeck, Nicolas & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno & Guellec, Dominique, 2009. "Claiming more: the Increased Voluminosity of Patent Applications and its Determinants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1006-1020, July.
  6. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2000. "Applications grants and the value of patents," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6229, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 1999. "The Quality of Ideas: Measuring Innovation with Multiple Indicators," NBER Working Papers 7345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie & Didier François, 2009. "The Cost Factor in Patent Systems," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 329-355, December.
  9. 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.
  10. AfDB AfDB, . "AfDB Group Annual Report 2004," Annual Report, African Development Bank, number 60 edited by Koua Louis Kouakou.
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