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A brief history of space and time: the scope-year index as a patent value indicator based on families and renewals

  • Bruno Van Pottelsberghe
  • Nicolas van Zeebroeck

The renewal of patents and their geographical scope for protection constitute two essential dimensions in a patent’s life, and probably the most frequently used patent value indicators. The intertwining of these dimensions (the geographical scope of protection may vary over time) makes their analysis complex, as any measure along one dimension requires an arbitrary choice on the second. This paper proposes a new indicator of patent value, the Scope-Year index, combining the two dimensions. The index is computed for patents filed at the EPO from 1980 to 1996 and validated in its member states. It shows that the average value of patent filings has increased in the early eighties but has constantly decreased from the mid-eighties until the mid nineties, despite the institutional expansion of the EPO. This result sheds a new and worrying light on the worldwide boom in patent filings.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 07-019.RS.

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Length: 19 p.
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by: Centre Emile Bernheim, Bruxelles
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:07-019
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  1. 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.
  2. Ariel Pakes, 1984. "Patents as Options: Some Estimates of the Value of Holding European Patent Stocks," NBER Working Papers 1340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Jean Olson Lanjouw, 1993. "Patent Protection: Of What Value and for How Long?," NBER Working Papers 4475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Reitzig, Markus, 2004. "Improving patent valuations for management purposes--validating new indicators by analyzing application rationales," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6-7), pages 939-957, September.
  6. Deng, Yi, 2007. "The effects of patent regime changes: A case study of the European patent office," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 121-138, February.
  7. Dominique Guellec & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2007. "Patent as a market instrument," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/60728, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Eleftherios Sapsalis & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2007. "The Institutional Sources Of Knowledge And The Value Of Academic Patents," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 139-157.
  9. 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.
  10. Jean Olson Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 1998. "Stylised Fact of Patent Litigation: Value, Scope and Ownership," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 20, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  11. 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.
  12. Jean O. Lanjouw & Ariel Pakes & Jonathan Putnam, 1996. "How to Count Patents and Value Intellectual Property: Uses of Patent Renewal and Application Data," NBER Working Papers 5741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Ariel Pakes & Mark Schankerman, 1979. "The Rate of Obsolescence Of Knowledge, Research Gestation Lags, and the Private Rate of Return to Research Resources," NBER Working Papers 0346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Mark Schankerman, 1998. "How Valuable is Patent Protection? Estimates by Technology Field," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(1), pages 77-107, Spring.
  16. Dietmar Harhoff & Francis Narin & F. M. Scherer & Katrin Vopel, 1999. "Citation Frequency And The Value Of Patented Inventions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 511-515, August.
  17. Kortum, Samuel & Lerner, Josh, 1999. "What is behind the recent surge in patenting?1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-22, January.
  18. Harhoff, Dietmar & Scherer, Frederic M. & Vopel, Katrin, 2003. "Citations, family size, opposition and the value of patent rights," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1343-1363, September.
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