Business Method Patents in Europe and their Strategic Use – Evidence from Franking Device Manufacturers
There has been a wide-spread misconception based on the imprecise wording of Art. 52 of the European Patent Convention (EPC) that the protection of business methods by patents is prohibited in Europe. This paper investigates the legal framework set by patent laws with respect to the patentability of business methods, contrasting the situation in Europe and the situation in the US. It is shown that in praxi business methods have never been excluded from patentability in Europe. Further, 1,901 European patent applications relating to business methods are found by identifying European equivalents to granted USPTO patents filed in US Class 705 (i.e. business method patents). The computation of major patent indicators reveals that European applications for business method patents differ from the average of all EPO patent applications with respect to the number of claims, the number of references made and the frequency of legal actions against granted patents. Additionally, a case study from the franking device industry gives evidence of the strategic use of business method patents leading to comparably high opposition rates against 44% of all granted patents.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Harhoff, Dietmar & Reitzig, Markus, 2002.
"Determinants of Opposition Against EPO Patent Grants - The Case of Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3645, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Harhoff, Dietmar & Reitzig, Markus, 2004. "Determinants of opposition against EPO patent grants--the case of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 443-480, April.
- Bronwyn H. Hall, 2003.
"Business Method Patents, Innovation, and Policy,"
NBER Working Papers
9717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hall, Bronwyn H., 2003. "Business Method Patents, Innovation, and Policy," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt66w6p7qz, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Hall, Bronwyn H., 2003. "Business Method Patents, Innovation, and Policy," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2n24f63d, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Bronwyn H. Hall, 2004. "Business Method Patents, Innovation, and Policy," Law and Economics 0401001, EconWPA.
- Harhoff, Dietmar & Wagner, Stefan, 2006.
"Modeling the Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office,"
Discussion Papers in Business Administration
1256, University of Munich, Munich School of Management.
- Harhoff, Dietmar & Wagner, Stefan, 2005. "Modelling the duration of patent examination at the European Patent Office," CEPR Discussion Papers 5283, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Harhoff, Dietmar & Wagner, Stefan, 2006. "Modeling the Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 170, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
- Harhoff, Dietmar & Scherer, Frederic M. & Vopel, Katrin, 2003. "Citations, family size, opposition and the value of patent rights," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1343-1363, September.
- Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2000.
"Applications grants and the value of patents,"
ULB Institutional Repository
2013/6229, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Vopel, Katrin & Scherer, Frederic M. & Narin, Francis & Harhoff, Dietmar, 1997.
"Citation Frequency and the Value of Patented Innovation,"
ZEW Discussion Papers
97-27, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
- Dietmar Harhoff & Francis Narin & Frederic M. Scherer & Katrin Vopel, 1997. "Citation Frequency and the Value of Patented Innovation," CIG Working Papers FS IV 97-26, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
- Lanjouw, Jean O & Schankerman, Mark, 2001. "Characteristics of Patent Litigation: A Window on Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 129-51, Spring.
- Griliches, Zvi, 1990.
"Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
- Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Zvi Griliches, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lerner, Josh, 1995. "Patenting in the Shadow of Competitors," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 463-95, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0410003. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.