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Long live patents: the increasing life expectancy of patent applications and its determinants

  • Nicolas van Zeebroeck

Relying on a comprehensive dataset including detailed information on all patent applications filed to the EPO from 1980 to 2000 and on the renewal of those of them that were granted, this paper presents the first survival time analysis of the determinants of patent length. The results are threefold: first, they clearly establish that the life expectancy of patent rights has significantly increased over the past decades despite a small decline in the average grant rate. Second, they show that some filing strategies strongly influence the length of patents, possibly due to induced delays in the examination process. And third, they confirm that more valuable patents (more cited or covering a larger geographical scope) tend to live longer.

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File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/96255/1/nvz_rei_2011.pdf
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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/96255.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: Review of economics and institutions (2011) v.2 n° 3
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/96255
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  1. Richard Gilbert & Carl Shapiro, 1990. "Optimal Patent Length and Breadth," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 106-112, Spring.
  2. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2001. "The NBER Patent Citation Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," NBER Working Papers 8498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Pakes, Ariel & Schankerman, Mark A., 1978. "The Rate of Obsolescence of Knowledge, Research Gestation Labs, and the Private Rate of Return to Research Resources," Working Papers 78-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  5. Bruno VAN POTTELSBERGHE & Nicolas VAN ZEEBROECK, . "Filing Strategies and Patent Value," EcoMod2008 23800148, EcoMod.
  6. Bessen, James, 2008. "The value of U.S. patents by owner and patent characteristics," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 932-945, June.
  7. Per Botolf Maurseth, 2005. "Lovely but dangerous: The impact of patent citations on patent renewal," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(5), pages 351-374.
  8. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2008. "A brief history of space and time: the scope-year index as a patent value indicator based on families and renewals," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6383, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Didier François, 2009. "The cost factor in patent systems," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13422, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. 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.
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  12. Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2011. "The vulnerability of patent value determinants," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/60730, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  13. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2002. "The value of patents and patenting strategies: countries and technology areas patterns," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6217, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  14. Deng, Yi, 2005. "Renewal Study of European Patents: A Three-country Comparison," Departmental Working Papers 0514, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  15. Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2007. "The puzzle of patent value indicators," Working Papers CEB 07-023.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  16. 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, December.
  17. Ariel Pakes, 1984. "Patents as Options: Some Estimates of the Value of Holding European Patent Stocks," NBER Working Papers 1340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2000. "Applications grants and the value of patents," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6229, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  20. Dietmar Harhoff & Stefan Wagner, 2009. "The Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(12), pages 1969-1984, December.
  21. Ted O'Donoghue & Suzanne Scotchmer & Jacques-François Thisse, 1998. "Patent Breadth, Patent Life, and the Pace of Technological Progress," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 1-32, 03.
  22. Francesca Cornelli & Mark Schankerman, 1999. "Patent Renewals and R&D Incentives," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 197-213, Summer.
  23. David Popp & Ted Juhl & Daniel K.N. Johnson, 2003. "Time in Purgatory: Determinants of the Grant Lag for U.S. Patent Applications," NBER Working Papers 9518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Régibeau, Pierre & Rockett, Katharine, 2003. "Are More Important Patents Approved More Slowly and Should They Be?," Economics Discussion Papers 2850, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  25. Lanjouw, Jean O & Pakes, Ariel & Putnam, Jonathan, 1998. "How to Count Patents and Value Intellectual Property: The Uses of Patent Renewal and Application Data," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 405-32, December.
  26. Popp David & Juhl Ted & Johnson Daniel K.N., 2004. "Time In Purgatory: Examining the Grant Lag for U.S. Patent Applications," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-45, November.
  27. Kortum, Samuel & Lerner, Josh, 1999. "What is behind the recent surge in patenting?1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-22, January.
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