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Determinants of patent withdrawals: Evidence from a sample of Italian applications with the EPO

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  • Schettino, Francesco
  • Sterlacchini, Alessandro

Abstract

This paper analyses the propensity to withdraw European patent applications within a regional sample of Italian applicants. The procedure for obtaining a granted patent from the EPO is composed of a series of sequential and selective steps imposing additional costs to the applicants. Accordingly, we argue that early withdrawals - i.e. those occurring before the proper examination process begins - should be treated separately from late withdrawals. Our findings show the probability of an early withdrawal is higher for applicants with lower resources and competencies and rises with the number of backward citations added by EPO examiners to the original application. Late withdrawals, instead, are negatively affected by one factor only: the size of patent family, which approximates the sunk costs born by applicants in order to extend the geographical scope of patent protection. Such a limited explanation suggests that the interventions of EPO examiners are likely to play a significant role in inducing late withdrawals.

Suggested Citation

  • Schettino, Francesco & Sterlacchini, Alessandro, 2009. "Determinants of patent withdrawals: Evidence from a sample of Italian applications with the EPO," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 308-314, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:worpat:v:31:y:2009:i:4:p:308-314
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Lazaridis, George & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2007. "The rigour of EPO's patentability criteria: An insight into the "induced withdrawals"," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 317-326, December.
    3. Francesco SCHETTINO & Alessandro STERLACCHINI, 2007. "European Patenting and the Size of Inventors," Working Papers 308, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    4. Schettino, Francesco & Sterlacchini, Alessandro & Venturini, Francesco, 2013. "Inventive productivity and patent quality: Evidence from Italian inventors," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1043-1056.
    5. Harhoff, Dietmar & Wagner, Stefan, 2005. "Modelling the duration of patent examination at the European Patent Office," CEPR Discussion Papers 5283, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Eric J. Iversen & Aris Kaloudis, 2006. "IP-Valuation as a Tool to Sustain Innovation," Chapters,in: The Management of Intellectual Property, chapter 13 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Joachim Henkel & Stefanie Pangerl, 2008. "Defensive Publishing An Empirical Study," DRUID Working Papers 08-04, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
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    Keywords

    Patent withdrawals Applicants' features Patent quality Patent examination Italian applicants EPO citations;

    JEL classification:

    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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