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When small is beautiful: measuring the evolution and consequences of the voluminosity of patent applications at the EPO

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Listed:
  • Bruno Van Pottelsberghe
  • Eugenio Archontopoulos
  • Dominique Guellec
  • Niels Stevnsborg
  • Nicolas van Zeebroeck

Abstract

The joint increase in the number and size of patents filed around the world puts patent systems under pressure.This paper addresses issues in measuring the voluminosity of patent applications and highlights patterns in its evolution. The results – based on a 2 million EPO applications database – show that the average size of applications has doubled over the past 20 years and that it is mainly associated with PCT applications having a US priority. Voluminosity indicators are also influenced by geographical origins and technological areas and strongly impact the workload of the EPO, justifying the need for regulatory and policy actions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Eugenio Archontopoulos & Dominique Guellec & Niels Stevnsborg & Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2006. "When small is beautiful: measuring the evolution and consequences of the voluminosity of patent applications at the EPO," Working Papers CEB 06-019.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:06-019
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. van Zeebroeck, Nicolas & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno & Guellec, Dominique, 2009. "Claiming more: the Increased Voluminosity of Patent Applications and its Determinants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1006-1020, July.
    2. Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie & Didier François, 2009. "The Cost Factor in Patent Systems," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 329-355, December.
    3. Lazaridis, George & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2007. "The rigour of EPO's patentability criteria: An insight into the "induced withdrawals"," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 317-326, December.
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    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie & Wook Han, 2006. "Issues in measuring the degree of technological specialisation with patent data," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 66(3), pages 481-492, March.
    8. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Patent drafting; patent voluminosity; patent applications; patent statistics; patent systems; workload.;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O50 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - General

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