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When Small is Beautiful: Measuring the Evolution and Consequences of the Voluminosity of Patent Applications at the EPO

  • Archontopoulos, Eugenio
  • Guellec, Dominique
  • Stevnsborg, Niels
  • van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno
  • van Zeebroeck, Nicolas

The joint increase in the number and size of patents filed around the world puts patent systems under pressure. This paper addresses issues in measuring the voluminosity of patent applications and highlights patterns in its evolution. The results - based on a 2 million EPO applications database - show that the average size of applications has doubled over the past 20 years and that it is mainly associated with PCT applications having a US priority. Voluminosity indicators are also influenced by geographical origins and technological areas and strongly impact the workload of the EPO, justifying the need for regulatory and policy actions.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5970.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5970
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  1. Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie & Didier François, 2009. "The Cost Factor in Patent Systems," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 329-355, December.
  2. 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.
  3. Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2006. "Claiming more: the increased voluminosity of patent applications and its determinants," Working Papers CEB 06-018.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Wook Han, 2006. "Issues in measuring the degree of technological specialisation with patent data," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6199, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Herman Denis & Dominique Guellec, 2001. "Using patent counts for cross-country comparisons of technology output," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6227, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Guellec, Dominique & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2007. "The Economics of the European Patent System: IP Policy for Innovation and Competition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199216987, March.
  7. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2000. "Applications grants and the value of patents," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6229, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Tong, Xuesong & Frame, J. Davidson, 1994. "Measuring national technological performance with patent claims data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 133-141, March.
  9. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 1999. "The Quality of Ideas: Measuring Innovation with Multiple Indicators," NBER Working Papers 7345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. AfDB AfDB, . "AfDB Group Annual Report 2004," Annual Report, African Development Bank, number 60 edited by Koua Louis Kouakou, 6.
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