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The effects of patent regime changes: A case study of the European patent office

  • Deng, Yi
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Patent system in Europe has undergone significant changes during the 1970s around the establishment of the European Patent Office (EPO), and this paper tries to quantify the influence of such policy changes on the private value of European patents. Based on the patent renewal records, I estimate the private value of patents in Germany, France and the U.K. obtained through the EPO patenting route during the early 1980s, and compare the estimated value with the patent value in the same three countries before the establishment of the EPO, as estimated by Pakes (1986). The average quality and the private value of the EPO patents are substantially higher than those obtained through the national route. The uniform examination and granting procedure at the EPO has effectively eliminated the inter-country differences in the patentability standards and the scope of patents, and has significantly decreased the differences in patent value across these countries. I also find that the extension of the statutory limit to the maximal length of patent lives and changes in the renewal fee schedule have only had modest effects on patent value, and that the learning process of the EPO patents are much longer than that of the national patents.

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

Volume (Year): 25 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 121-138

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:25:y:2007:i:1:p:121-138
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  1. Ariel Pakes & Mark Schankerman, 1984. "The Rate of Obsolescence of Patents, Research Gestation Lags, and the Private Rate of Return to Research Resources," NBER Chapters, in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 73-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jean O. Lanjouw & Josh Lerner, 1997. "The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights: A Survey of the Empirical Literature," NBER Working Papers 6296, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Deng, Yi, 2005. "Private Value of European Patents," Departmental Working Papers 0513, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  4. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 1997. "Stylized Facts of Patent Litigation: Value, Scope and Ownership," NBER Working Papers 6297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Carmen Matutes & Pierre Regibeau & Katharine Rockett, 1996. "Optimal Patent Design and the Diffusion of Innovations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(1), pages 60-83, Spring.
  7. O'DONOGHUE, Ted & SCOTCHMER, Suzanne & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Patent breadth, patent life, and the pace of technological progress," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1314, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  8. Ariel Pakes, 1984. "Patents as Options: Some Estimates of the Value of Holding European Patent Stocks," NBER Working Papers 1340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Deng, Yi, 2005. "Renewal Study of European Patents: A Three-country Comparison," Departmental Working Papers 0514, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  11. Zvi Griliches, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jean LANJOUW & Josh LERNER, 1998. "The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights: A Survey of the Empirical Literature," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 49-50, pages 223-246.
  13. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1999. "On the Optimality of the Patent Renewal System," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 181-196, Summer.
  14. Zvi Griliches, 1984. "R&D, Patents, and Productivity," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gril84-1, July.
  15. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2004. "Patent Quality and Research Productivity: Measuring Innovation with Multiple Indicators," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 441-465, 04.
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