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On the price elasticity of demand for patents

  • Gaétan de Rassenfosse
  • Bruno Van Pottelsberghe

This paper investigates whether patent fee policies are a potential factor underlying the boom in patent applications observed in major patent offices. We provide the first panel-based evidence suggesting that fees affect the demand for patents in three major patent offices (EPO, USPTO and JPO), with a price elasticity of about -0.4 (similar to that of the residential demand for oil or water). The laxity of fee policies adopted by patent offices over the past 25 years therefore contributed, to a significant extent, to the rising propensity to patent observed since the mid-nineties. This is especially true at the European Patent Office, which has dramatically decreased its fees since the mid-1990s.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 08-031.RS.

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Length: 24 p.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:08-031
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  1. Harhoff, Dietmar & Wagner, Stefan, 2006. "Modeling the Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 170, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  2. Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2009. "Claiming more: the increased voluminosity of patent applications and its determinants," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/60726, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2007. "Per un pugno di dollari: a first look at the price elasticity of patents," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 558-604, Winter.
  4. Wesley M Cohen & Richard R Nelson & John P Walsh, 2003. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (Or Not)," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000624, David K. Levine.
  5. van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno & van Zeebroeck, Nicolas, 2007. "A Brief History of Space and Time: the Scope-Year Index as a Patent Value Indicator Based on Families and Renewals," CEPR Discussion Papers 6321, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  7. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "The London Agreement and the cost of patenting in Europe," Working Papers 264, Bruegel.
  8. Christophe Hurlin & Valérie Mignon, 2006. "Une Synthèse des Tests de Racine Unitaire sur Données de Panel," Post-Print halshs-00078770, HAL.
  9. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "A Policy Insight into the R&D-Patent Relationship," Working Papers CEB 08-008.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. Bruno, Giovanni S.F., 2005. "Approximating the bias of the LSDV estimator for dynamic unbalanced panel data models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(3), pages 361-366, June.
  11. David Encaoua & Dominique Guellec & Catalina Martínez, 2006. "Patent Systems for Encouraging Innovation: Lessons from Economic Analysis," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00177614, HAL.
  12. 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.
  13. Christophe Hurlin, 2007. "Une Synthèse des Tests de Cointégration sur Données de Panel," Post-Print halshs-00270210, HAL.
  14. Jasper M. Dalhuisen & Raymond J. G. M. Florax & JHenri L. F. de Groot & Peter Nijkamp, 2003. "Price and Income Elasticities of Residential Water Demand: A Meta-Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(2), pages 292-308.
  15. Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2007. "Patents only live twice: a patent survival analysis in Europe," Working Papers CEB 07-028.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  16. Jaffe Adam B. & Lerner Josh, 2006. "Innovation and Its Discontents," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 1(3), pages 1-36, December.
  17. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
  18. Kiviet, Jan F., 1995. "On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
  19. Dominique Guellec & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2007. "Patent as a market instrument," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/60728, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  20. Damiaan Persyn & Joakim Westerlund, 2008. "Error-correction–based cointegration tests for panel data," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(2), pages 232-241, June.
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