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On the Price Elasticity of Demand for Patents

  • Gaétan de Rassenfosse
  • Bruno Van Pottelsberghe

This paper investigates whether patent fee policies are a potential factor underlying the boom in patent applications observed in major patent offices. We provide the first panel-based evidence suggesting that fees affect the demand for patents in three major patent offices (EPO, USPTO and JPO), with a price elasticity of about -0.4 (similar to that of the residential demand for oil or water). The laxity of fee policies adopted by patent offices over the past 25 years therefore contributed, to a significant extent, to the rising propensity to patent observed since the mid-nineties. This is especially true at the European Patent Office, which has dramatically decreased its fees since the mid-1990s.

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File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/54093/1/RePEc_eca_wpaper_2008_031.pdf
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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers ECARES with number 2008_031.

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Length: 20 p.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2008_031
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  1. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Eugenio Archontopoulos & Dominique Guellec & Niels Stevnsborg & Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2006. "When small is beautiful: measuring the evolution and consequences of the voluminosity of patent applications at the EPO," Working Papers CEB 06-019.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "A Policy Insight into the R&D-Patent Relationship," Working Papers CEB 08-008.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Harhoff, Dietmar & Wagner, Stefan, 2006. "Modeling the Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 170, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  4. Bruno, Giovanni S.F., 2005. "Approximating the bias of the LSDV estimator for dynamic unbalanced panel data models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(3), pages 361-366, June.
  5. Damiaan Persyn & Joakim Westerlund, 2008. "Error-correction–based cointegration tests for panel data," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(2), pages 232-241, June.
  6. 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.
  7. van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno & van Zeebroeck, Nicolas, 2007. "A Brief History of Space and Time: the Scope-Year Index as a Patent Value Indicator Based on Families and Renewals," CEPR Discussion Papers 6321, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Christophe Hurlin & Valérie Mignon, 2006. "Une Synthèse des Tests de Racine Unitaire sur Données de Panel," Post-Print halshs-00078770, HAL.
  9. de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2007. "Per un Pugno di Dollari: A first Look at the Price Elasticity of Patents," CEPR Discussion Papers 6499, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Christophe HURLIN & V. MIGNON, 2006. "Une synthèse des tests de co-intégration sur données de panel," Working Papers 1724, Orleans Economic Laboratorys, University of Orleans.
  11. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "The London Agreement and the cost of patenting in Europe," Working Papers 264, Bruegel.
  12. Kiviet, Jan F., 1995. "On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
  13. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  14. David Encaoua & Dominique Guellec & Catalina Martínez, 2006. "Patent Systems for Encouraging Innovation: Lessons from Economic Analysis," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00177614, HAL.
  15. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
  16. Dominique Guellec & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2007. "Patent as a market instrument," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/60728, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  17. Jaffe Adam B. & Lerner Josh, 2006. "Innovation and Its Discontents," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 1(3), pages 1-36, December.
  18. Jasper M. Dalhuisen & Raymond J. G. M. Florax & JHenri L. F. de Groot & Peter Nijkamp, 2003. "Price and Income Elasticities of Residential Water Demand: A Meta-Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(2), pages 292-308.
  19. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2000. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not)," NBER Working Papers 7552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2007. "Patents only live twice: a patent survival analysis in Europe," Working Papers CEB 07-028.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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