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Sources and characteristics of software patents in the European Union: some empirical considerations

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  • Francesco Rentocchini

Abstract

This work provides a deeper account of an increasing phenomenon characterising the European Union in recent years, i.e. software patenting. To this purpose we present a novel database of software patents providing a reliability check. According to that, more than 30 000 software patents have been granted so far to both European and Non-European companies. We investigate the relevant factors explaining firm-level software patenting at the EPO. Software patents are mainly applied by American and Japanese firms, are characterised by an higher average length of the granting procedure and firms belonging to the software sector do not apply for them. Finally, results from non-linear panel data estimation reveal that patents are not deemed as useful appropriability instruments by software firms and that a threat effect by hardware firms is growing in importance. This last result is in line with recent developments of the literature relative to strategic patenting.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Rentocchini, 2010. "Sources and characteristics of software patents in the European Union: some empirical considerations," Openloc Working Papers 1022, Public policies and local development.
  • Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpol:1022
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & Schoen, Anja & Wastyn, Annelies, 2014. "Selection bias in innovation studies: A simple test," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 287-299.
    2. Stefano Comino & Fabio M. Manenti & NIkolaus Thumm, 2017. "The Role of Patents in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). A survey of the Literature," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0212, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    3. Useche, Diego, 2014. "Are patents signals for the IPO market? An EU–US comparison for the software industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1299-1311.
    4. Elisabeth Mueller, 2014. "Entrepreneurs from low-skilled immigrant groups in knowledge-intensive industries: company characteristics, survival and innovative performance," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 871-889, April.
    5. Neuhäusler, Peter & Frietsch, Rainer & Rothengatter, Oliver, 2015. "Patentierung computerimplementierter Erfindungen: Aktuelle Rechtslage und ökonomische Implikationen," Discussion Papers "Innovation Systems and Policy Analysis" 46, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Software Patenting; Intellectual Property Rights; IPRs; Patent; Innovation; Empirical;

    JEL classification:

    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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