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

  • Schettino, Francesco
  • Sterlacchini, Alessandro

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.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Patent Information.

Volume (Year): 31 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 308-314

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Handle: RePEc:eee:worpat:v:31:y:2009:i:4:p:308-314
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  1. Schettino, Francesco & Sterlacchini, Alessandro & Venturini, Francesco, 2008. "Inventive Productivity and Patent Quality: Evidence from Italian Inventors," MPRA Paper 7765, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Harhoff, Dietmar & Wagner, Stefan, 2006. "Modeling the Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office," Discussion Papers in Business Administration 1256, University of Munich, Munich School of Management.
  3. Archontopoulos, Eugenio & Guellec, Dominique & Stevnsborg, Niels & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno & van Zeebroeck, Nicolas, 2006. "When Small is Beautiful: Measuring the Evolution and Consequences of the Voluminosity of Patent Applications at the EPO," CEPR Discussion Papers 5970, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & George Lazaridis, 2007. "The rigour of EPO's patentability criteria: an insight into the induced withdrawals," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6189, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Eric Iversen & Aris Kaloudis, . "IP-Valuation as a Tool to Sustain Innovation," STEP Report series 200317, The STEP Group, Studies in technology, innovation and economic policy.
  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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