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Economic Incongruities in the European Patent System

Author

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  • Malwina Mejer
  • Bruno Van Pottelsberghe

Abstract

This paper argues that the consequences of the ‘fragmentation’ of the European patent system are more dramatic than the mere prohibitive costs of maintaining a patent in force in many jurisdictions. First, detailed analysis of judicial systems in several European countries and four case studies provide evidence suggesting that heterogeneous national litigation costs, practices and outcome induce a high level of uncertainty. Second, a high degree of managerial complexity results from systemic incongruities due to easier ‘parallel imports’, possible ‘time paradoxes’ and the de facto paradox of having EU-level competition policy and granting authority ultimately facing national jurisdictional primacy on patent issues. These high degrees of uncertainty and complexity contribute to reduce the effectiveness of the European patent system and provide additional arguments in favour of the Community patent and a centralized litigation in Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Malwina Mejer & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2009. "Economic Incongruities in the European Patent System," Working Papers ECARES 2009_003, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2009_003
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Graham, Stuart J.H. & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2006. "Can Post-Grant Reviews Improve Patent System Design? A Twin Study of US and European Patents," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 38, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Kyle Margaret, 2011. "Strategic Responses to Parallel Trade," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-34, January.
    5. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, . "Lost property: The European patent system and why it doesn't work," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 312.
    6. 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.
    7. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Carine Peeters, 2006. "Economic and management perspectives on intellectual property rights," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6185, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    8. Lerner, Josh, 1995. "Patenting in the Shadow of Competitors," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 463-495, October.
    9. James E. Bessen & Michael J. Meurer, 2006. "Patent Litigation with Endogenous Disputes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 77-81, May.
    10. Claude Crampes & Corinne Langinier, 2002. "Litigation and Settlement in Patent Infringement Cases," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(2), pages 258-274, Summer.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dietmar Harhoff & Georg von Graevenitz & Stefan Wagner, 2016. "Conflict Resolution, Public Goods, and Patent Thickets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(3), pages 704-721, March.
    2. Cremers, Katrin & Gaessler, Fabian & Harhoff, Dietmar & Helmers, Christian, 2014. "Invalid but infringed? An analysis of Germany's bifurcated patent litigation system," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-072, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. 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.
    4. Julien Pénin & Agnieszka Kupzok, 2013. "Les enjeux économiques du brevet unitaire européen," Bulletin de l'Observatoire des politiques économiques en Europe, Observatoire des Politiques Économiques en Europe (OPEE), vol. 29(1), pages 29-34, December.
    5. repec:kap:ejlwec:v:44:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10657-016-9529-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Rabah Amir & David Encaoua & Yassine Lefouili, 2011. "Per-Unit Royalty vs Fixed Fee: The Case of Weak Patents," Working Papers halshs-00595493, HAL.
    7. 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.
    8. Alessandro Sterlacchini, 2016. "Patent oppositions and opposition outcomes: evidence from domestic appliance companies," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 183-203, February.
    9. García-Muñiz, Ana Salomé & Vicente, María Rosalía, 2014. "ICT technologies in Europe: A study of technological diffusion and economic growth under network theory," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 360-370.
    10. Katrin Cremers & Max Ernicke & Fabian Gaessler & Dietmar Harhoff & Christian Helmers & Luke McDonagh & Paula Schliessler & Nicolas Zeebroeck, 2017. "Patent litigation in Europe," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 1-44, August.
      • Cremers, Katrin & Ernicke, Max & Gaessler, Fabian & Harhoff, Dietmar & Helmers, Christian & McDonagh, Luke & Schliessler, Paula & Van Zeebroeck, Nicolas, 2013. "Patent litigation in Europe," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-072, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
      • Katrin Cremers & Max Ernicke & Fabian Gaessler & Dietmar Harhoff & Christian Helmers & Luke Mc Donagh & Paula Schliessler & Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2017. "Patent litigation in Europe," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/226239, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    11. Hughes, A. & Mina, A., 2010. "The Impact of the Patent System on SMEs," Working Papers wp411, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    12. repec:ulp:buopee:v:29:y:2013:m:12:i:6 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Jérôme Danguy & Bruno van Pottelsberghe, 2014. "The policy dilemma of the unitary patent," Working Papers 858, Bruegel.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    European patent system; patent cost; litigation process; enforcement; uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
    • P14 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Property Rights
    • 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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