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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 ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/6383.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Publication status: Published in: Scientometrics (2008) v.75 n° 2,p.319-338
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/6383
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  1. 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.
  2. Dominique Guellec & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2007. "Patent as a market instrument," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/60728, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. 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.
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  16. 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.
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