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Long live patents: the increasing life expectancy of patent applications and its determinants

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  • Nicolas van Zeebroeck

Abstract

Relying on a comprehensive dataset including detailed information on all patent applications filed to the EPO from 1980 to 2000 and on the renewal of those of them that were granted, this paper presents the first survival time analysis of the determinants of patent length. The results are threefold: first, they clearly establish that the life expectancy of patent rights has significantly increased over the past decades despite a small decline in the average grant rate. Second, they show that some filing strategies strongly influence the length of patents, possibly due to induced delays in the examination process. And third, they confirm that more valuable patents (more cited or covering a larger geographical scope) tend to live longer.

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File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/96255/1/nvz_rei_2011.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/96255.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: Review of economics and institutions (2011) v.2 n° 3
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/96255

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Keywords: patent length; patent value; renewals; survival time analysis; granting process; patent fling strategies;

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References

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  1. Dietmar Harhoff & Stefan Wagner, 2009. "The Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(12), pages 1969-1984, December.
  2. Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2011. "The vulnerability of patent value determinants," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/60730, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Dominique Guellec & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2002. "The Value of Patents and Patenting Strategies: Countries and Technology Areas Patterns," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 133-148.
  4. 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.
  5. Archontopoulos, Eugenio & Guellec, Dominique & Stevnsborg, Niels & van Pottelsberghe, Bruno & van Zeebroeck, Nicolas, 2006. "When Small is Beautiful: Measuring the Evolution and Consequences of the Voluminosity of Patent Applications at the EPO," CEPR Discussion Papers 5970, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Deng, Yi, 2005. "Renewal Study of European Patents: A Three-country Comparison," Departmental Working Papers 0514, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  7. Guellec, Dominique & van Pottelsberghe, Bruno & van Zeebroeck, Nicolas, 2006. "Claiming More: The Increased Voluminosity of Patent Applications and its Determinants," CEPR Discussion Papers 5971, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. O'DONOGHUE, Ted & SCOTCHMER, Suzanne & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Patent breadth, patent life, and the pace of technological progress," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1314, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2011. "The puzzle of patent value indicators," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 33-62.
  10. 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.
  11. Hall, B. & Jaffe, A. & Trajtenberg, M., 2001. "The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," Papers 2001-29, Tel Aviv.
  12. Guellec, Dominique & Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno v., 2000. "Applications, grants and the value of patent," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 109-114, October.
  13. Lanjouw, Jean O & Pakes, Ariel & Putnam, Jonathan, 1998. "How to Count Patents and Value Intellectual Property: The Uses of Patent Renewal and Application Data," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 405-32, December.
  14. Pakes, Ariel S, 1986. "Patents as Options: Some Estimates of the Value of Holding European Patent Stocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 755-84, July.
  15. van Pottelsberghe, Bruno & van Zeebroeck, Nicolas, 2007. "A Brief History of Space and Time: the Scope-Year Index as a Patent Value Indicator Based on Families and Renewals," CEPR Discussion Papers 6321, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Per Botolf Maurseth, 2005. "Lovely but dangerous: The impact of patent citations on patent renewal," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(5), pages 351-374.
  17. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2007. "The economics of the European patent system: IP policy for innovation and competition," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6183, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  18. Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2007. "Patents only live twice: a patent survival analysis in Europe," Working Papers CEB 07-028.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  19. van Pottelsberghe, Bruno & van Zeebroeck, Nicolas, 2008. "Filing Strategies and Patent Value," CEPR Discussion Papers 6821, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Kortum, Samuel & Lerner, Josh, 1999. "What is behind the recent surge in patenting?1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-22, January.
  21. David Popp & Ted Juhl & Daniel K.N. Johnson, 2003. "Time in Purgatory: Determinants of the Grant Lag for U.S. Patent Applications," NBER Working Papers 9518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Régibeau, Pierre & Rockett, Katharine, 2007. "Are More Important Patents Approved More Slowly and Should They Be?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6178, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Cited by:
  1. Jérôme Danguy & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2011. "Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Community Patent," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/101071, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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