When Small is Beautiful: Measuring the Evolution and Consequences of the Voluminosity of Patent Applications at the Epo

48 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2007

See all articles by Eugenio Archontopoulos

Eugenio Archontopoulos

European Patent Office

Dominique Guellec

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

Niels Stevnsborg

European Patent Office

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)

Nicolas van Zeebroeck

Université Libre de Bruxelles, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, iCite

Date Written: December 2006

Abstract

The joint increase in the number and size of patents filed around the world puts patent systems under pressure. This paper addresses issues in measuring the voluminosity of patent applications and highlights patterns in its evolution. The results - based on a 2 million EPO applications database - show that the average size of applications has doubled over the past 20 years and that it is mainly associated with PCT applications having a US priority. Voluminosity indicators are also influenced by geographical origins and technological areas and strongly impact the workload of the EPO, justifying the need for regulatory and policy actions.

Keywords: Patent drafting, patent voluminosity, patent applications, patent statistics, patent systems, workload

JEL Classification: O31, O34, O50

Suggested Citation

Archontopoulos, Eugenio and Guellec, Dominique and Stevnsborg, Niels and van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno and van Zeebroeck, Nicolas, When Small is Beautiful: Measuring the Evolution and Consequences of the Voluminosity of Patent Applications at the Epo (December 2006). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5970. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=954980

Eugenio Archontopoulos (Contact Author)

European Patent Office ( email )

Bob-van- Benthem-Platz 1
Munich, DE 80538
Germany

Dominique Guellec

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

Niels Stevnsborg

European Patent Office ( email )

Bob-van- Benthem-Platz 1
Munich, DE 80538
Germany

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)

London
United Kingdom

Nicolas Van Zeebroeck

Université Libre de Bruxelles, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, iCite ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50 - C.P. 114/4
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium
+3226503375 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.vanzeebroeck.net

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