European Journal of Law and Economics

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 211–237 | Cite as

The London Agreement and the cost of patenting in Europe

  • Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie
  • Malwina Mejer
Article

Abstract

This paper analyses the consequences for the European patent system of the recently ratified London Agreement, which aims to reduce the translation requirements for patent validation procedures in 15 out of 34 national patent offices. The simulations suggest that the cost of patenting has been reduced by 20–30% since the enforcement of the LA. With an average translation cost saving of €3,600 per patent, the total savings for the business sector amount to about €220 millions. The fee elasticity of patents being about −0.4, one may expect an increase in patent filings of 8–12%. Despite the translation cost savings, the relative cost of a European patent validated in six (thirteen) countries is still at least five (seven) times higher than in the United States.

Keywords

European patent system London Agreement Patent fees Translation costs Fee elasticity 

JEL Classifications

P14 P51 O34 

References

  1. Archontopoulos, E., Guellec, D., Stevnsborg, N., van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B., & van Zeebroeck, N. (2007). When small is beautiful: Measuring the evolution and consequences of the voluminosity of patent applications at the EPO. Information Economics and Policy, 19(2), 103–132. doi:10.1016/j.infoecopol.2007.01.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. de Rassenfosse, G., & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B. (2007). Per un pugno di dollari: A first look at the price elasticity of patents. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 23(4), 588–604. doi:10.1093/oxrep/grm032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. de Rassenfosse, G., & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B. (2008). On the price elasticity of the demand for patents. ECARES Working Paper, 2008-031.Google Scholar
  4. de Rassenfosse, G., & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B. (2009). A policy insight into the R&D-patent relationship. Research Policy, 38(5), 779–792.Google Scholar
  5. Dernis, H., Guellec, D., & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B. (2001). Using patent counts for cross-country comparisons of technology output. STI Review, 27. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  6. Ericsson, H., Hendry, D., & Mizon, G. (1998). Exogeneity, cointegration, and economic policy analysis. Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, 16(4), 370–387. doi:10.2307/1392607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. European Commission Communication. (2007). Enhancing the patent system in Europe. COM 165.Google Scholar
  8. Fidrmuc, J., & Ginsburgh, V. (2007). Languages in the European Union: The quest for equality and its cost. European Economic Review, 51(6), 1351–1369. doi:10.1016/j.euroecorev.2006.10.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ginsburgh, V. (2005). Languages, genes, and cultures. Journal of Cultural Economics, 29(1), 1–17. doi:10.1007/s10824-005-4074-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Guellec, D., & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B. (2007). The economics of the European Patent System. Oxford University Press: Oxford. 250 p.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Harhoff, D., Hoisl, K., Reichl, B., & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B. (2009a). Patent validation at the country level—the role of fees and translation costs. Research Policy, forthcoming.Google Scholar
  12. Harhoff, D., Hoisl, K., van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B. (2009b). Languages, fees and the international scope of patenting in Europe. ECARES Working Paper, 2009-003.Google Scholar
  13. Lazaridis, G., & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B. (2007). The rigour of EPO’s patentability criteria: An insight into the “induced withdrawals”. World Patent Information, 29(4), 317–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mejer, M., & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B. (2009). Economic incongruities in the European patent system. ECARES Working Paper, 2009-016.Google Scholar
  15. Roland Berger. (2005). The cost of the sample European patent – new estimates. www.3pod.cz/download/cost_analysis_2005_en[1].pdf. Accessed 1 May 2008.
  16. Stevnsborg, N., & van Pottelsberghe de la, B. (2007). Patenting procedures and filing strategies. In D. Guellec & B. van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie (Eds.), The economics of the European Patent System (pp. 155–183). Oxford University Press: Oxford.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B., & François, D. (2009). The cost factor in patent systems. Journal of Industry. Trade Compet (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  18. van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B., & van Zeebroeck, N. (2008). A brief history of space and time: The scope-year index as a patent value indicator based on families and renewals. Scientometrics, 75(2), 319–338. doi:10.1007/s11192-007-1864-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. van Zeebroeck N. (2007). Patents only live twice: A patent survival analysis in Europe. Université Libre de Bruxelles, Solvay Business School, CEB Working Papers, 07-028.RS.Google Scholar
  20. van Zeebroeck, N., van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B., & Guellec, D. (2009). Claiming more: The increased voluminosity of patent applications and its determinants. Research Policy, 38(6), 1006–1020.Google Scholar

Annual Reports

  1. Canadian Intellectual Patent Office. Annual Report 2006–2007. www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/en/h_wr00094e.html. Accessed 1 May 2008.
  2. European Patent Office. Annual Report 2006. www.epo.org/about-us/office/annual-reports/2006.html. Accessed 1 May 2008.
  3. European Patent Office. Annual Report 2007. www.epo.org/about-us/office/annual-reports/2007.html. Accessed 1 May 2008.
  4. Indian Patent Office. Annual Report 2005–2006. http://ipindia.gov.in/cgpdtm/AnnualReport_2005_2006.pdf. Accessed 1 May 2008.
  5. Japan Patent Office. Annual Report 2007. www.jpo.go.jp/shiryou_e/toushin_e/kenkyukai_e/annual_report2007.htm. Accessed 1 May 2008.
  6. Korean Intellectual Property Office. Annual Report: Overview and highlights of 2006. www.kipo.go.kr/kpo2/user.tdf. Accessed 1 May 2008.
  7. State Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of China. Annual Report 2006. www.sipo.gov.cn/sipo_English/laws/annualreports/ndbg2006/. Accessed 1 May 2008.
  8. Trilateral Cooperation. Trilateral Statistical Report 2006. www.trilateral.net/tsr/tsr_2006/. Accessed 1 May 2008.
  9. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Performance and accountability report: Fiscal year 2007. www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/annual/2007/index.html. Accessed 1 May 2008.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Malwina Mejer
    • 4
  1. 1.Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB, SBS-EM), ECARES, and BruegelBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.CEPRLondonUK
  3. 3.CEB and DULBEABrusselsBelgium
  4. 4.Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB, SBS-EM), ECARESBrusselsBelgium

Personalised recommendations