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Modelling the duration of patent examination at the European Patent Office

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  • Harhoff, Dietmar
  • Wagner, Stefan

Abstract

We analyze the duration of patent examination at the European Patent Office (EPO). Our data contain variables that are correlates of the applicants’ and examiners’ assessments of a patent’s economic and technical relevance as well as ex post-application citation measures which indicate the impact of the patent application on the state of the art. We present descriptive statistics for 30 major technology fields. In our multivariate analysis we estimate competing risk specifications in order to characterize differences in the processes leading to either a withdrawal of the application by the applicant, a refusal of the patent grant or an actual patent grant by the European Patent Office. Measuring a patent’s importance relying on the number of citations by subsequent patents we find that more important patents are approved faster by the EPO than less important patents but that applicants are more hesitant to withdraw these potentially valuable applications.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5283
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Régibeau, P & Rockett, K, 2003. "Are More Important Patents Approved More Slowly and Should They Be?," Economics Discussion Papers 2850, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    2. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1989. "Noncooperative game theory for industrial organization: An introduction and overview," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5, pages 259-327, Elsevier.
    3. David Popp & Ted Juhl & Daniel K.N. Johnson, 2003. "Time in Purgatory: Determinants of the Grant Lag for U.S. Patent Applications," NBER Working Papers 9518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson & Adam Jaffe, 1997. "University Versus Corporate Patents: A Window On The Basicness Of Invention," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 19-50.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    European Patent Office; patent examination; patents; survival analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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