Defensive Publishing - An Empirical Study
35 Pages Posted: 20 May 2007 Last revised: 26 May 2008
Date Written: May 2008
Defensive Publishing denotes publication of an invention with the purpose of creating prior art, and thus preventing patents being granted on this invention. Although widely employed, it has hardly been investigated empirically. Our study is based on 56 in-depth interviews, among others with most industrial firms in the German DAX 30 stock index. We find that 70 percent of the companies in our sample use defensive publications, for up to one third of their inventions. Interestingly, we find that the patent system itself is frequently used for defensive publishing. Our findings also challenge contributions connecting defensive publishing to patent races.
Keywords: Defensive publication, intellectual property, freedom to operate, patents
JEL Classification: O32, O34, M21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation