Modelling the Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office

34 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2005

See all articles by Dietmar Harhoff

Dietmar Harhoff

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition; Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Stefan Wagner

ESMT European School of Management and Technology

Date Written: October 2005

Abstract

We analyze the duration of patent examination at the European Patent Office (EPO). Our data contain variables that are correlates of the applicants' and examiners' assessments of a patent's economic and technical relevance as well as ex post-application citation measures which indicate the impact of the patent application on the state of the art. We present descriptive statistics for 30 major technology fields. In our multivariate analysis, we estimate competing risk specifications in order to characterize differences in the processes leading to either a withdrawal of the application by the applicant, a refusal of the patent grant or an actual patent grant by the European Patent Office. Measuring a patent's importance relying on the number of citations by subsequent patents we find that more important patents are approved faster by the EPO than less important patents but that applicants are more hesitant to withdraw these potentially valuable applications.

Keywords: Patents, survival analysis, patent examination, European Patent Office

JEL Classification: C15, C41, D73, O34

Suggested Citation

Harhoff, Dietmar and Wagner, Stefan, Modelling the Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office (October 2005). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5283, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=851264

Dietmar Harhoff (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany
+49 89 24246 550 (Phone)
+49 89 24246 599 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ip.mpg.de

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München ( email )

Munich, 80539
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Stefan Wagner

ESMT European School of Management and Technology ( email )

Schlossplatz 1
10117 Berlin
Germany

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