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

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

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 database of 2 million EPO applications, show that the average size of applications has doubled over the past 20 years and that this is mainly associated with PCT applications having a US priority. Voluminosity indicators are influenced by geographical origins and technological areas and strongly impact the workload of the EPO, justifying the need for regulatory and policy actions. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/6191.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Publication status: Published in: Information Economics and Policy (2007) v.19 n° 2,p.103-132
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/6191
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Web page: http://difusion.ulb.ac.be

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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, March.
  4. Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2006. "Claiming more: the increased voluminosity of patent applications and its determinants," Working Papers CEB 06-018.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. 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.
  6. George Lazaridis & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2007. "The rigour of EPO's patentability criteria: An insight into the "induced withdrawals"," Working Papers CEB 07-007.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. 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.
  8. Tong, Xuesong & Frame, J. Davidson, 1994. "Measuring national technological performance with patent claims data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 133-141, March.
  9. Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Wook Han, 2006. "Issues in measuring the degree of technological specialisation with patent data," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6199, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. AfDB AfDB, . "AfDB Group Annual Report 2004," Annual Report, African Development Bank, number 60 edited by Koua Louis Kouakou, 6.
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