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The London Agreement and the Cost of Patenting in Europe

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  • Malwina Mejer
  • Bruno Van Pottelsberghe

Abstract

This paper analyses the consequences for the European Patent System (EPS) of the recently ratified London Agreement (LA), which aims to reduce the translation requirements for patent validation procedures in 15 out of 34 national patent offices. The simulations suggest that the cost of patenting has been reduced by 20 to 30 percent since the enforcement of the LA. With an average translation cost saving of €3,600 per patent, the total savings for the business sector amount to about €220 millions. The fee elasticity of patents being about -0.4, one may expect an increase in patent filings of eight to 12 percent. Despite the translation cost savings, the relative cost of a European patent validated in six (thirteen) countries is still at least five (seven) times higher than in the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Malwina Mejer & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "The London Agreement and the Cost of Patenting in Europe," Working Papers ECARES 2008_032, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2008_032
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Harhoff, Dietmar & Hoisl, Karin & Reichl, Bettina & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2009. "Patent validation at the country level--The role of fees and translation costs," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 1423-1437.
    2. Bruno Pottelsberghe de la Potterie & Nicolas Zeebroeck, 2008. "A brief history of space and time: The scope-year index as a patent value indicator based on families and renewals," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 75(2), pages 319-338, May.
    3. de Rassenfosse, Gaetan & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2009. "A policy insight into the R&D-patent relationship," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 779-792.
    4. van Zeebroeck, Nicolas & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno & Guellec, Dominique, 2009. "Claiming more: the Increased Voluminosity of Patent Applications and its Determinants," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 1006-1020.
    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. Harhoff, Dietmar & Hoisl, Karin & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2009. "Languages, Fees and the International Scope of Patenting," Discussion Papers in Business Administration 10456, University of Munich, Munich School of Management.
    7. Ericsson, Neil R & Hendry, David F & Mizon, Grayham E, 1998. "Exogeneity, Cointegration, and Economic Policy Analysis," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 16(4), pages 370-387, October.
    8. Fidrmuc, Jan & Ginsburgh, Victor, 2007. "Languages in the European Union: The quest for equality and its cost," European Economic Review, Elsevier, pages 1351-1369.
    9. 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.
    10. Paul H. Jensen & Alfons Palangkaraya & Elizabeth Webster, 2008. "Application Pendency Times and Outcomes across Four Patent Offices," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2008n06, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    11. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2007. "Per un pugno di dollari: a first look at the price elasticity of patents," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 558-604, Winter.
    12. Victor Ginsburgh, 2005. "Languages, Genes, and Cultures," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, pages 1-17.
    13. Lazaridis, George & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2007. "The rigour of EPO's patentability criteria: An insight into the "induced withdrawals"," World Patent Information, Elsevier, pages 317-326.
    14. Gaetan de Rassenfosse & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2012. "On the Price Elasticity of Demand for Patents," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(1), pages 58-77, February.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Harhoff, Dietmar & Hoisl, Karin & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2009. "Languages, Fees and the International Scope of Patenting," Discussion Papers in Business Administration 10456, University of Munich, Munich School of Management.
    2. Michele Gazzola & Alessia Volpe, 2014. "Linguistic justice in IP policies: evaluating the fairness of the language regime of the European Patent Office," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 47-70, August.
    3. repec:kap:jincot:v:17:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10842-016-0239-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Danguy Jérôme & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie Bruno, 2011. "Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Community Patent," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-43, April.
    5. Malwina Mejer & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2012. "Economic incongruities in the European patent system," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, pages 215-234.
    6. Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2011. "The quality factor in patent systems," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(6), pages 1755-1793, December.
    7. Harhoff, Dietmar & Hoisl, Karin & Reichl, Bettina & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2009. "Patent validation at the country level--The role of fees and translation costs," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 1423-1437.
    8. Gaetan de Rassenfosse & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2012. "On the Price Elasticity of Demand for Patents," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(1), pages 58-77, February.
    9. André Spithoven & Wim Vanhaverbeke & Nadine Roijakkers, 2013. "Open innovation practices in SMEs and large enterprises," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 537-562, October.
    10. Pierre M. Picard & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2011. "Patent Office Governance and Patent System Quality," CREA Discussion Paper Series 11-06, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    11. Harhoff, Dietmar & Hoisl, Karin & Reichl, Bettina & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2009. "Patent validation at the country level--The role of fees and translation costs," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 1423-1437.
    12. de Saint-Georges, Matthis & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2013. "A quality index for patent systems," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 704-719.
    13. Jérôme Danguy & Bruno van Pottelsberghe, 2014. "The policy dilemma of the unitary patent," Working Papers 858, Bruegel.
    14. de Saint-Georges, Matthis & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2013. "A quality index for patent systems," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 704-719.
    15. Aurélien Portuese, 2012. "Law and economics of the European multilingualism," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 279-325, October.
    16. Gaetan de Rassenfosse & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2013. "The Role Of Fees In Patent Systems: Theory And Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 696-716, September.
    17. Picard, Pierre M. & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2013. "Patent office governance and patent examination quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 14-25.
    18. Wojciech Grabowski & Krzysztof Szczygielski & M. Teoman Pamukçu & Sinan Tandogan, 2013. "Does Government Support for Private Innovation Matter? Firm Level Evidence from Turkey and Poland," CASE Network E-briefs 3, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    European patent system; London Agreement; patent fees; translation costs; fee elasticity;

    JEL classification:

    • P14 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Property Rights
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
    • 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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