The London Agreement and the cost of patenting in Europe
- 316 Downloads
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.
KeywordsEuropean patent system London Agreement Patent fees Translation costs Fee elasticity
JEL ClassificationsP14 P51 O34
The authors are grateful to Marco Connor, Andrew Fielding, Stephen Gardner and Gaétan de Rassenfosse for their useful comments as well as to the participants of the CESifo Venice Summer Institute—Workshop Reforming Rules and Regulations, 18–19 July 2008.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- European Commission Communication. (2007). Enhancing the patent system in Europe. COM 165.Google Scholar
- 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
- 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
- Mejer, M., & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B. (2009). Economic incongruities in the European patent system. ECARES Working Paper, 2009-016.Google Scholar
- Roland Berger. (2005). The cost of the sample European patent – new estimates. www.3pod.cz/download/cost_analysis_2005_en.pdf. Accessed 1 May 2008.
- van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B., & François, D. (2009). The cost factor in patent systems. Journal of Industry. Trade Compet (forthcoming).Google Scholar
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- European Patent Office. Annual Report 2006. www.epo.org/about-us/office/annual-reports/2006.html. Accessed 1 May 2008.
- European Patent Office. Annual Report 2007. www.epo.org/about-us/office/annual-reports/2007.html. Accessed 1 May 2008.
- Indian Patent Office. Annual Report 2005–2006. http://ipindia.gov.in/cgpdtm/AnnualReport_2005_2006.pdf. Accessed 1 May 2008.
- Japan Patent Office. Annual Report 2007. www.jpo.go.jp/shiryou_e/toushin_e/kenkyukai_e/annual_report2007.htm. Accessed 1 May 2008.
- Korean Intellectual Property Office. Annual Report: Overview and highlights of 2006. www.kipo.go.kr/kpo2/user.tdf. Accessed 1 May 2008.
- 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.
- Trilateral Cooperation. Trilateral Statistical Report 2006. www.trilateral.net/tsr/tsr_2006/. Accessed 1 May 2008.
- 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.