Per Un Pugno Di Dollari: A First Look at the Price Elasticity of Patents

28 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2008  

Gaétan de Rassenfosse

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie

Free University of Brussels - Solvay Business School; Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - Department of Applied Economics (DULBEA); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Date Written: September 2007

Abstract

This paper analyzes the role of patent filing fees requested by the member states of the European Patent Convention (EPC). We provide a first empirical evidence showing that the fee elasticity of the demand for priority applications is negative and significant. Given the strong variation in absolute fees and in fees per capita across countries, this result witnesses a suboptimal treatment of inventors across European countries and suggests that fees should be considered as an integral part of an IP policy, especially in the current context of worrying backlogs. In addition, we show that the transfer rate of domestic priority filings to the EPO increases with the duration of membership to the EPO and the GDP per capita of a country, suggesting that member states experience a learning curve within the EPC. The high heterogeneity in the transfer rates casts some doubts on the practice that consists in relying on filings at the EPO or at the USPTO to assess innovative performance of countries.

Keywords: fees, patent filing, price elasticity

JEL Classification: O30, O31, O38, O57

Suggested Citation

de Rassenfosse, Gaétan and van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, Per Un Pugno Di Dollari: A First Look at the Price Elasticity of Patents (September 2007). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP6499. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1138983

Gaétan De Rassenfosse (Contact Author)

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne ( email )

Station 5
Odyssea 1.04
1015 Lausanne, CH-1015
Switzerland

Bruno Van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie

Free University of Brussels - Solvay Business School

50 Avenue Roosevelt
Brussels 1050
Belgium

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - Department of Applied Economics (DULBEA) ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt 50
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

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