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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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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3645.

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Date of creation: Nov 2002
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3645
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
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  13. repec:adr:anecst:y:1998:i:49-50 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Harhoff, Dietmar & Reitzig, Markus, 2002. "Determinants of Opposition Against EPO Patent Grants - The Case of Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals," CEPR Discussion Papers 3645, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. 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.
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  19. Wesley M Cohen & Richard R Nelson & John P Walsh, 2003. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (Or Not)," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000624, David K. Levine.
  20. 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.
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  23. 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.
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