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Sources and characteristics of software patents in the European Union: Some empirical considerations

  • Rentocchini, Francesco

Software patenting is an increasingly important phenomenon in the European Union. Using a novel database of more than 30,000 software patents granted to both European and Non-European companies, we investigate the relevant factors explaining firm-level software patenting at the European Patent Office. We find that software patents are mainly applied for by American and Japanese firms, that they are characterised by a higher than average length of the granting procedure and that firms belonging to the software sector generally do not apply for them. Finally, results from non-linear panel data estimation reveal that patents are not deemed as useful appropriability instruments by software firms and that a "threat effect" by hardware firms is growing in importance. This last result is in line with recent developments in the literature relative to strategic patenting.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Information Economics and Policy.

Volume (Year): 23 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 141-157

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Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:23:y:2011:i:1:p:141-157
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505549

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  1. Bronwyn H. Hall & Grid Thoma & Salvatore Torrisi, 2006. "The market value of patents and R&D: Evidence from European firms," KITeS Working Papers 186, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Nov 2006.
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