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On the Price Elasticity of Demand for Patents

  • Gaetan de Rassenfosse
  • Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie

This paper investigates whether patent fee policies are a potential factor underlying the boom in patent applications observed in major patent offices. We provide the first panel-based evidence suggesting that fees affect the demand for patents in three major patent offices (EPO, USPTO and JPO), with a price elasticity of about -0.4 (similar to that of the residential demand for oil or water). The laxity of fee policies adopted by patent offices over the past 25 years therefore contributed, to a significant extent, to the rising propensity to patent observed since the mid-nineties. This is especially true at the European Patent Office, which has dramatically decreased its fees since the mid-1990s.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Oxford in its journal Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 74 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 58-77

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Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:74:y:2012:i:1:p:58-77
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  1. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2007. "Per un pugno di dollari: a first look at the price elasticity of patents," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 558-604, Winter.
  2. Guellec, Dominique & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 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.
  3. David Encaoua & Dominique Guellec & Catalina Martínez, 2006. "Patent Systems for Encouraging Innovation: Lessons from Economic Analysis," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00177614, HAL.
  4. Valérie Mignon & Christophe Hurlin, 2007. "Une synthèse des tests de cointégration sur données de panel," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 180(4), pages 241-265.
  5. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "A Policy Insight into the R&D-Patent Relationship," Working Papers CEB 08-008.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. 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.
  7. Harhoff, Dietmar & Wagner, Stefan, 2006. "Modeling the Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office," Discussion Papers in Business Administration 1256, University of Munich, Munich School of Management.
  8. Bruno, Giovanni S.F., 2005. "Approximating the bias of the LSDV estimator for dynamic unbalanced panel data models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(3), pages 361-366, June.
  9. 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.
  10. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2007. "A brief history of space and time: the scope-year index as a patent value indicator based on families and renewals," Working Papers CEB 07-019.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  11. Kiviet, Jan F., 1995. "On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
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  13. Archontopoulos, Eugenio & Guellec, Dominique & Stevnsborg, Niels & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno & van Zeebroeck, Nicolas, 2007. "When small is beautiful: Measuring the evolution and consequences of the voluminosity of patent applications at the EPO," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 103-132, June.
  14. 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.
  15. Pasaran, M.H. & Im, K.S. & Shin, Y., 1995. "Testing for Unit Roots in Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9526, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  16. Valérie Mignon & Christophe Hurlin, 2005. "Une synthèse des tests de racine unitaire sur données de panel," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 169(3), pages 253-294.
  17. Dominique Guellec & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2007. "Patent as a market instrument," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/60728, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  18. Jasper M. Dalhuisen & Raymond J. G. M. Florax & JHenri L. F. de Groot & Peter Nijkamp, 2003. "Price and Income Elasticities of Residential Water Demand: A Meta-Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(2), pages 292-308.
  19. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
  20. Damiaan Persyn & Joakim Westerlund, 2008. "Error-correction–based cointegration tests for panel data," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(2), pages 232-241, June.
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