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The rigour of EPO's patentability criteria: an insight into the induced withdrawals

  • Bruno Van Pottelsberghe
  • George Lazaridis

The EPO traditionally grants at least 60% of all patent applications, the rest being either withdrawn (30-35 %) or refused (5%). This paper provides quantitative evidence suggesting that up to 54% of all patent withdrawals could be considered as induced by the work of EPO examiners, and hence may be taken as a more appropriate indicator of the rigour of the EPO. “Induced withdrawals” and refusals occur for up to 23% of all applications at the EPO. This share varies according to 1) the route chosen for an EPO filing; 2) the technological field that is considered; and 3) the country of residence of the assignee. The number of claims only slightly affects the share of withdrawals. However, on average, two additional claims induce an additional communication from the EPO, which in turn prolongs the procedural duration by an additional year.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/6189.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: World Patent Information (2007) v.29 n° 4,p.317-326
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/6189
Contact details of provider: Postal: CP135, 50, avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles
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  1. Guellec, Dominique & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno & van Zeebroeck, Nicolas, 2006. "Claiming More: The Increased Voluminosity of Patent Applications and its Determinants," CEPR Discussion Papers 5971, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Archontopoulos, Eugenio & Guellec, Dominique & Stevnsborg, Niels & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno & van Zeebroeck, Nicolas, 2006. "When Small is Beautiful: Measuring the Evolution and Consequences of the Voluminosity of Patent Applications at the EPO," CEPR Discussion Papers 5970, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. 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.
  4. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2000. "Applications grants and the value of patents," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6229, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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