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Patent inflation in Europe

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Author Info

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

Abstract

Patent filings worldwide have been subject to a combined growth in terms of the number of applications filed and their size. This is putting patent systems under tremendous pressure, as witnessed by the evolution of backlogs at several patent offices. The present article presents an analysis of the evolution in patent voluminosity observed at the European Patent Office (EPO) over the past two decades. The results demonstrate that the average size of applications has doubled during this period and that the largest influence comes from applications filed via the PCT route and/or with a US priority application. Voluminosity indicators are clearly influenced by geographical origins and technological areas. The increasing voluminosity has a significant impact on EPO workload and processing efficiency. There is therefore a justified need for regulatory action. Evidence from recent changes in US patent fee policy is shown to have a significant knock-off effect on voluminosity indicators. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. 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 2013/6389.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Publication status: Published in: World Patent Information (2008) v.30 n° 1,p.43-52
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/6389

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Related research

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

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Cited by:
  1. van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2010. "The quality factor in patent systems," CEPR Discussion Papers 7921, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2009. "Claiming more: the increased voluminosity of patent applications and its determinants," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/60726, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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