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The Role Of Fees In Patent Systems: Theory And Evidence

  • Gaetan de Rassenfosse
  • Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie

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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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economic Surveys.

Volume (Year): 27 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (09)
Pages: 696-716

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:27:y:2013:i:4:p:696-716
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  1. Harhoff, Dietmar & Hoisl, Karin & Reichl, Bettina & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2007. "Patent Validation at the Country Level - The Role of Fees and Translation costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 6565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  3. Carine Peeters & Bruno Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2006. "Innovation strategy and the patenting behavior of firms," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 109-135, April.
  4. Deng, Yi, 2005. "Private Value of European Patents," Departmental Working Papers 0513, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  5. Danguy, Jérôme & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2010. "Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Community Patent," CEPR Discussion Papers 7631, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. 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.
  7. Robert M. Hunt, 2006. "When Do More Patents Reduce R&D?," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001065, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Marc Baudry & Béatrice Dumont, 2009. "A Bayesian Real Option Approach to Patents and Optimal Renewal Fees," Working Papers hal-00419330, HAL.
  9. Lazaridis, George & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2007. "The rigour of EPO's patentability criteria: An insight into the "induced withdrawals"," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 317-326, December.
  10. Gaetan de Rassenfosse & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2012. "On the Price Elasticity of Demand for Patents," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(1), pages 58-77, 02.
  11. 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.
  12. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Gaétan de Rassenfosse, 2007. "Per un pugno di dollari: a first look at the price elasticity of patents," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6391, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  13. Wesley M Cohen & Richard R Nelson & John P Walsh, 2003. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (Or Not)," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000624, David K. Levine.
  14. Nancy T. Gallini, 1992. "Patent Policy and Costly Imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(1), pages 52-63, Spring.
  15. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Didier François, 2006. "The cost factor in patent systems," Working Papers CEB 06-002.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  16. 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.
  17. Harhoff, Dietmar & Hoisl, Karin & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2009. "Languages, Fees and the International Scope of Patenting," Discussion Papers in Business Administration 10456, University of Munich, Munich School of Management.
  18. Mejer, Malwina & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2008. "The London Agreement and the Cost of Patenting in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 7033, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Mark Schankerman & Ariel Pakes, 1985. "Estimates of the Value of Patent Rights in European Countries During thePost-1950 Period," NBER Working Papers 1650, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Deng, Yi, 2007. "Private value of European patents," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1785-1812, October.
  21. Edwin Mansfield, 1986. "Patents and Innovation: An Empirical Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(2), pages 173-181, February.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2008. "A Policy Insight into the R&D-Patent Relationship," CEPR Discussion Papers 6716, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Eaton, J. & Kortum, S., 1995. "Trade in Ideas: Patenting and Productivity onn the OECD," Papers 34, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  26. Richard Gilbert and Carl Shapiro., 1989. "Optimal Patent Length and Breadth," Economics Working Papers 89-102, University of California at Berkeley.
  27. Archontopoulos, Eugenio & Guellec, Dominique & Stevnsborg, Niels & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 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.
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  33. Paroma Sanyal, 2003. "Understanding patents: The role Of R&D funding sources and the patent office," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(6), pages 507-529.
  34. Masaaki Kotabe, 1992. "A Comparative Study of U.S. and Japanese Patent Systems," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 23(1), pages 147-168, March.
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