IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Pre-Emptive Patenting: Securing Market Exclusion and Freedom of Operation

Listed author(s):
  • Dominique Guellec


  • Catalina Martinez

    (Institute of Public Goods and Policies (IPP-CSIC))

  • Maria Pluvia Zuniga

We investigate statistically the characteristics, functioning and incidence of pre-emptive patenting, defined as patent filings whose main effect is to hamper the grant of other patents. Patent applications can be used to prevent the grant of exclusive rights on markets and technologies to others in order to ensure freedom of operation to their holder or keep patent-less competitors out of the market. Combining data from examination outcomes and prior art at the European Patent Office (EPO), we develop a methodology to identify pre-emptive patent applications. We find evidence of pre-emption associated to patent applications cited as compromising patentability while being deemed non inventive. Furthermore, amongst them, those which are withdrawn by the applicant have the strongest pre-emptive power. The coincidence of low inventiveness and high pre-emptive impact supports the idea that some of these patents may be strategically designed by their applicants to block patenting by others. Nous analysons statistiquement les caractéristiques, le fonctionnement et les effets des brevets préemptifs, définis comme des (demandes de) brevets dont l’effet principal est d’empêcher la délivrance d’autres brevets. Les demandes de brevets peuvent être utilisées pour empêcher la délivrance de droits exclusifs à d’autres parties sur des marchés et des technologies en vue d’assurer la liberté de manœuvre à leur titulaire ou de maintenir des compétiteurs sans brevets à l’écart du marché. Combinant des données du résultat de l’examen et de l’art antérieur de l’Office Européen des Brevets (OEB), nous développons une méthodologie qui identifie les demandes préemptives de brevets. Nous trouvons des évidences de préemption pour des demandes de brevets citées comme compromettant la brevetabilité d’autres demandes alors qu’elles ne sont pas elles-mêmes jugés inventives. De plus parmi elles, celles qui sont abandonnées par le demandeur lui-même ont le pouvoir préemptif le plus fort. La coïncidence de faible inventivité et de pouvoir préemptif fort suggère que certaines de ces demandes de brevets sont stratégiquement conçues par leur titulaire en vue de bloquer la prise de brevet par d’autres.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers with number 2009/8.

in new window

Date of creation: 30 Dec 2009
Handle: RePEc:oec:stiaaa:2009/8-en
Contact details of provider: Postal:
2 rue Andre Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16

Phone: 33-(0)-1-45 24 82 00
Fax: 33-(0)-1-45 24 85 00
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:stiaaa:2009/8-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.