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Determinants of opposition against EPO patent grants--the case of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals

Listed author(s):
  • Harhoff, Dietmar
  • Reitzig, Markus

We analyse the determinants of opposition to biotechnology and pharmaceutical patents granted by the European Patent Office between 1978–96. Opposition can be considered an early form of patent validity challenge suit. In our sample, 8.6% of the patents are attacked in opposition proceedings. Using citation and patent family indicators we show that valuable patents are more likely to be attacked, and that opposition is particularly frequent in areas with strong cumulative patent numbers and with high technical or market uncertainty. We comment on the implications of these results for the design of the patent and litigation system.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 22 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 443-480

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:22:y:2004:i:4:p:443-480
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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  1. Dietmar Harhoff & Francis Narin & F. M. Scherer & Katrin Vopel, 1999. "Citation Frequency And The Value Of Patented Inventions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 511-515, August.
  2. I.P.L. P'ng, 1983. "Strategic Behavior in Suit, Settlement, and Trial," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 539-550, Autumn.
  3. Jean Lanjouw & Josh Lerner, 1998. "The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights: A Survey of the Empirical Literature," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 49-50, pages 223-246.
  4. repec:adr:anecst:y:1998:i:49-50:p:08 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Lucian Arye Bebchuk, 1984. "Litigation and Settlement under Imperfect Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
  6. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
  8. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
  9. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1996. "Protecting Early Innovators: Should Second-Generation Products Be Patentable?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 322-331, Summer.
  10. Hall, Bronwyn H & Ziedonis, Rosemarie Ham, 2001. "The Patent Paradox Revisited: An Empirical Study of Patenting in the U.S. Semiconductor Industry, 1979-1995," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 101-128, Spring.
  11. Harhoff, Dietmar & Reitzig, Markus, 2004. "Determinants of opposition against EPO patent grants--the case of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 443-480, April.
  12. Narin, Francis & Hamilton, Kimberly S. & Olivastro, Dominic, 1997. "The increasing linkage between U.S. technology and public science," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 317-330, October.
  13. Manuel Trajtenberg, 1990. "A Penny for Your Quotes: Patent Citations and the Value of Innovations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 172-187, Spring.
  14. Lanjouw, Jean O & Schankerman, Mark, 2001. "Characteristics of Patent Litigation: A Window on Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 129-151, Spring.
  15. Harhoff, Dietmar & Scherer, Frederic M. & Vopel, Katrin, 2003. "Citations, family size, opposition and the value of patent rights," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1343-1363, September.
  16. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. George L. Priest & Benjamin Klein, 1984. "The Selection of Disputes for Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 1-56, January.
  18. Joshua Lerner, 1994. "The Importance of Patent Scope: An Empirical Analysis," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 319-333, Summer.
  19. Joel Waldfogel, 1998. "Reconciling Asymmetric Information and Divergent Expectations Theories of Litigation," NBER Working Papers 6409, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. repec:adr:anecst:y:1998:i:49-50 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Bernhardt, Irwin & Jung, Bong S, 1979. "The Interpretation of Least Squares Regression with Interaction or Polynomial Terms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(3), pages 481-483, August.
  22. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2000. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not)," NBER Working Papers 7552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Jean Olson Lanjouw, 1998. "Patent Protection in the Shadow of Infringement: Simulation Estimations of Patent Value," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(4), pages 671-710.
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