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Wanted: A Standard for Virtual Patent Marking


  • Gaetan de Rassenfosse

    (Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne)

  • Kyle Higham

    (Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne)


Patent marking is used by patentees to provide a form of notice to the public about the existence of a patent and can increase damages awarded in cases of infringement. Historically, marking is done by listing the associated patents on the product they cover. Virtual patent marking (VPM), or webmarking, offers patentees a convenient alternative to this practice by allowing patentees to place a web address, linking to a list of the associated patents, on the product instead of the static patent list. However, due to uncertainty in the legal community about proper implementation, adoption has been slow, despite broad agreement on their many advantages over traditional marking. In this article, we lay out guidelines for the proper implementation of VPMs and call for a formal standard to encourage their adoption.

Suggested Citation

  • Gaetan de Rassenfosse & Kyle Higham, 2020. "Wanted: A Standard for Virtual Patent Marking," Working Papers 7, Chair of Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:iip:wpaper:7

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    Cited by:

    1. Higham, Kyle & de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & Jaffe, Adam B., 2021. "Patent Quality: Towards a Systematic Framework for Analysis and Measurement," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(4).

    More about this item


    patent notice; product; standard; virtual patent marking; webmarking;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • K20 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - General
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • 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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