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Economic incongruities in the European patent system

  • Malwina Mejer

    ()

  • Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie

This paper argues that the consequences of the ‘fragmentation’ of the European patent system are more dramatic than the mere prohibitive costs of maintaining a patent in force in many jurisdictions. First, detailed analysis of judicial systems in several European countries and four case studies provide evidence suggesting that heterogeneous national litigation costs, practices and outcome induce a high level of uncertainty. Second, a high degree of managerial complexity results from systemic incongruities due to easier ‘parallel imports’, possible ‘time paradoxes’ and the de facto paradox of having EU-level competition policy and granting authority ultimately facing national jurisdictional primacy on patent issues. These high degrees of uncertainty and complexity contribute to reduce the effectiveness of the European patent system and provide additional arguments in favour of the Community patent and a centralized litigation in Europe.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10657-011-9221-3
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Article provided by Springer in its journal European Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (August)
Pages: 215-234

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Handle: RePEc:kap:ejlwec:v:34:y:2012:i:1:p:215-234
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100264

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  1. James Bessen & Michael J. Meurer, 2005. "Patent Litigation with Endogenous Disputes," Working Papers 0502, Research on Innovation.
  2. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, 2010. "The quality factor in patent systems," Working Papers 422, Bruegel.
  3. Graham, Stuart J.H. & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2006. "Can Post-Grant Reviews Improve Patent System Design? A Twin Study of US and European Patents," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 38, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  4. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "The London Agreement and the cost of patenting in Europe," Working Papers 264, Bruegel.
  5. Kyle Margaret, 2011. "Strategic Responses to Parallel Trade," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-34, January.
  6. Pakes, Ariel & Schankerman, Mark A., 1978. "The Rate of Obsolescence of Knowledge, Research Gestation Labs, and the Private Rate of Return to Research Resources," Working Papers 78-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  7. Claude Crampes & Corinne Langinier, 2002. "Litigation and Settlement in Patent Infringement Cases," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(2), pages 258-274, Summer.
  8. Lerner, Josh, 1995. "Patenting in the Shadow of Competitors," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 463-95, October.
  9. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, . "Lost property: The European patent system and why it doesn't work," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 312, November.
  10. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Carine Peeters, 2006. "Economic and management perspectives on intellectual property rights," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6185, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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