The Role of Fees in Patent Systems: Theory and Evidence

Journal of Economic Surveys, Forthcoming

28 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2010 Last revised: 29 Oct 2011

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)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2, 2011

Abstract

This paper reviews the economic literature on the role of fees in patent systems. Two main research questions are usually addressed: the impact of patent fees on the behavior of applicants and the question of optimal fees. Studies in the former group confirm that a range of fees affect the behavior of applicants and suggest that a patent is an inelastic good. Studies in the latter group provide grounds for both low and high application (or pre-grant) fees and renewal (or post-grant) fees, depending on the structural context and on policy objectives. The paper also presents new stylized facts on patent fees of thirty patent offices worldwide. It is shown that application fees are generally lower than renewal fees, and renewal fees increase more than proportionally with patent age.

Keywords: application fees, patent system, price elasticity, intellectual property policy, renewal fees

JEL Classification: O30, O31, O38, O57

Suggested Citation

de Rassenfosse, Gaétan and van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, The Role of Fees in Patent Systems: Theory and Evidence (October 2, 2011). Journal of Economic Surveys, Forthcoming . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1694924 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1694924

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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