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Economic Incongruities in the European Patent System

  • Malwina Mejer
  • Bruno Van Pottelsberghe

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.

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File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/54115/1/RePEc_eca_wpaper_2009_003.pdf
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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers ECARES with number 2009_003.

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Length: 16 p.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2009_003
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  1. 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.
  2. James Bessen & Michael J. Meurer, 2005. "Patent Litigation with Endogenous Disputes," Working Papers 0502, Research on Innovation.
  3. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Carine Peeters, 2006. "Economic and management perspectives on intellectual property rights," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6185, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Graham, Stuart J.H. & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2006. "Can Post-Grant Reviews Improve Patent System Design? A Twin Study of US and European Patents," CEPR Discussion Papers 5680, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Lerner, Josh, 1995. "Patenting in the Shadow of Competitors," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 463-95, October.
  6. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2010. "The Quality Factor in Patent Systems," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2010-027, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Margaret K. Kyle, 2007. "Strategic Responses to Parallel Trade," NBER Working Papers 12968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, . "Lost property: The European patent system and why it doesn't work," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 312, June.
  9. 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.
  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.
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