IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Claiming more: the increased voluminosity of patent applications and its determinants

  • Nicolas van Zeebroeck
  • Bruno Van Pottelsberghe
  • Dominique Guellec

The joint increase in the number and size of patents filed around the world puts the patent system under pressure. This paper analyses the sources of this surge in number of claims and pages of patent applications at the EPO. Four hypotheses are scrutinized: the diffusion of national drafting practices, the increasing complexity of inventions, the emergence of new sectors, and new patenting strategies. The results show that the increasing voluminosity is explained by all these hypotheses and suggest that the diffusion of the US model through the PCT is one of the major factors driving the size of EPO patent applications.

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:
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 500 Can't connect to If this is indeed the case, please notify (Benoit Pauwels)

File Function: RePEc_sol_wpaper_06-018
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 06-018.RS.

in new window

Length: 26 p.
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:06-018
Contact details of provider: Postal: CP114/03, 42 avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles
Phone: +32 (0)2 650.48.64
Fax: +32 (0)2 650.41.88
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Guellec, Dominique & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2007. "The Economics of the European Patent System: IP Policy for Innovation and Competition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199216987.
  2. Archontopoulos, Eugenio & Guellec, Dominique & Stevnsborg, Niels & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno & van Zeebroeck, Nicolas, 2007. "When small is beautiful: Measuring the evolution and consequences of the voluminosity of patent applications at the EPO," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 103-132, June.
  3. Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Niels Stevnsborg & Dominique Guellec & Eugenio Archontopoulos, 2008. "Patent inflation in Europe," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6389, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Francois, Didier & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2006. "The Cost Factor in Patent Systems," CEPR Discussion Papers 5944, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Carl Shapiro, 2003. "Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard-Setting," Law and Economics 0303005, EconWPA.
  6. Carine Peeters & Bruno Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2006. "Innovation strategy and the patenting behavior of firms," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 109-135, April.
  7. Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Wook Han, 2006. "Issues in measuring the degree of technological specialisation with patent data," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6199, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Guellec, Dominique & Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno v., 2000. "Applications, grants and the value of patent," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 109-114, October.
  9. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 1997. "Stylized Facts of Patent Litigation: Value, Scope and Ownership," NBER Working Papers 6297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Dominique Guellec & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2002. "The Value of Patents and Patenting Strategies: Countries and Technology Areas Patterns," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 133-148.
  11. Bronwyn H. Hall & Stuart J. H. Graham & Dietmar Harhoff & David C. Mowery, 2004. "Prospects for Improving U.S. Patent Quality via Post-grant Opposition," Law and Economics 0401002, EconWPA.
  12. Paul H. Jensen & Alfons Palangkaraya & Elizabeth Webster, 2005. "Patent Application Outcomes across the Trilateral Patent Offices," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2005n05, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  13. Kortum, Samuel & Lerner, Josh, 1999. "What is behind the recent surge in patenting?1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-22, January.
  14. Hausman, Jerry & Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 909-38, July.
  15. Guellec, Dominique & Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno v., 2001. "The internationalisation of technology analysed with patent data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1253-1266, October.
  16. Mosahid Khan & Hélène Dernis, 2005. "Impact of Patent Co-Operation Treaty Data on Epo Patent Statistics and Improving the Timeliness of EPO Indicators," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2005/2, OECD Publishing.
  17. Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2011. "Filing strategies and patent value," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/60731, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  18. Jaffe, Adam B., 2000. "The U.S. patent system in transition: policy innovation and the innovation process," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 531-557, April.
  19. Cameron, A Colin & Trivedi, Pravin K, 1986. "Econometric Models Based on Count Data: Comparisons and Applications of Some Estimators and Tests," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(1), pages 29-53, January.
  20. 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.
  21. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 1999. "The Quality of Ideas: Measuring Innovation with Multiple Indicators," NBER Working Papers 7345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Tong, Xuesong & Frame, J. Davidson, 1994. "Measuring national technological performance with patent claims data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 133-141, March.
  23. Dominique Guellec & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2007. "Patent as a market instrument," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/60728, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  24. James Bessen, 2004. "Patent Thickets: Strategic Patenting of Complex Technologies," Working Papers 0401, Research on Innovation.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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:sol:wpaper:06-018. 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: (Benoit Pauwels)

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.