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

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  • Rentocchini, Francesco

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Rentocchini, Francesco, 2011. "Sources and characteristics of software patents in the European Union: Some empirical considerations," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 141-157, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:23:y:2011:i:1:p:141-157
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & Schoen, Anja & Wastyn, Annelies, 2014. "Selection bias in innovation studies: A simple test," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 287-299.
    2. Elisabeth Mueller, 2014. "Entrepreneurs from low-skilled immigrant groups in knowledge-intensive industries: company characteristics, survival and innovative performance," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 871-889, April.
    3. Stefano Comino & Fabio M. Manenti & NIkolaus Thumm, 2017. "The Role of Patents in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). A survey of the Literature," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0212, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    4. Useche, Diego, 2014. "Are patents signals for the IPO market? An EU–US comparison for the software industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1299-1311.
    5. Neuhäusler, Peter & Frietsch, Rainer & Rothengatter, Oliver, 2015. "Patentierung computerimplementierter Erfindungen: Aktuelle Rechtslage und ökonomische Implikationen," Discussion Papers "Innovation Systems and Policy Analysis" 46, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Software patents Intellectual property rights (IPRs) Innovation EPO;

    JEL classification:

    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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