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					European Patent Office



   Patents Systems and
    Knowledge Policies


            Dominique Guellec
           Chief economist - EPO


          National Academy – 10-11 January 2005
     Advancing Knowledge and the Knowledge Economy   1
      Outline of the presentation

1) The new economic importance of
  patents

2) Patent institutions must remain selective

3) Patent regimes as innovation policies


                                           2
                            A surge in patent numbers
EPO and USPTO filings: Total num ber of applications                                    JPO filings: Total num ber of claim s

400,000                                                                                                              4,000,000
                                                                                            JPO filings
350,000                                                                                                              3,500,000

300,000                                                                                                              3,000,000

250,000                                                                                                              2,500,000

200,000                                                                                                              2,000,000
                          USPTO filings
150,000                                                                                                              1,500,000
                                                                              EPO filings

100,000                                                                                                              1,000,000

 50,000                                                                                                              500,000

     0                                                                                                      0
     1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002




                                                                                                             3
     The surge in patent numbers

Patent filings have doubled in OECD over
 the past decade.




                                      4
  Why the surge in patent numbers?


Increased innovation - emergence of new
  technology areas (software, biotech);
  => More inventions to protect




                                      5
                 The surge in innovation

      GDP and Business Funded R&D in the OECD Area (Index 1970 = 100)

500
450         GDP
400         R&D
350
300
250
200
150
100
 50
  0
  70

  72

  74

  76

  78

  80

  82

  84

  86

  88

  90

  92

  94

  96

  98

  00

  02
19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

20

20
                                                                        6
 Average annual growth rates of EPO applications –
             New technology fields

     %                  1995-2001    1991-1994           %
14                                                           14

12                                                           12

10                                                           10

 8                                                           8

 6                                                           6

 4                                                           4

 2                                                           2

 0                                                           0
     Total Patents   Biotechnology      ICT      Other
                                                             7
        Changes in innovation systems
         enhance the role of patents
-   More profit is based on innovation.
-   Extremely high value of certain patents
    => Rambus / Infineon, 100 million USD
    drop overnight in stock market value
    (March 2004 )
-   High profile litigation (EOLAS – USD
    500 million)


                                          8
         Changes in innovation systems
          enhance the role of patents

-   More co-operation between firms.

-   Increased importance of start-ups, with no other
    asset than their technology.

-   Expansion of markets for technology (esp. licensing
    contracts).

=> Patents as protection, as signal of quality, as
  collateral, as asset

                                                       9
       The patent system should adapt to
               this new context


-   Maintaining internal balance: Putting quality first.

-   Coordinating with other policies for encouraging
    innovation and diffusion =
    Playing an active role in innovation policies.




                                                      10
         Quality: What does it mean?

-   Thoroughness of search and examination
-   Selectivity
-   Legal certainty
-   Disclosure
-   Timeliness
-   Costliness




                                             11
             Quality: What to do?
-   Ensuring the quality of applications =>
    e.g. steep fees per additional claim, no-search
    decisions for “complex applications”.
-   Call for third parties’ knowledge of the art:
    EPO opposition system = 4.5% of grants,
    1/3 maintained, 1/3 revoked, 1/3 amended.
-   Accumulating technology specific skills =>
    EPO 14 Joint Clusters.
-   ... And certainly more.

                                                      12
 Patent policy as part of innovation policies

“The mission of the EPO - the patent granting
  authority for Europe - is to support innovation,
  competitiveness and economic growth for the
  benefit of the citizens of Europe.”

  => In Europe, EPO shall contribute to the Lisbon
  Agenda.




                                                     13
 Patent policy as part of innovation policies

- Patent information: Making available to all users
   the immense knowledge stored in patents
   databases = Diffusing technological knowledge
   (to society, to government branches) and
   protecting the public domain.

- Valuation: As accounting standards are
   increasingly recommending capitalisation of IP,
   patent offices have potentially a role: providing
   certified information, guarantees etc.

                                                   14
 Patent policy as part of innovation policies

- Economic exploitation of patents: fostering
   licensing (providing information on the supply
   side, acting as clearing house).

- Coordinating with parts of the government in
   charge of other components of innovation related
   policies: Public research, competition, industry
   etc.



                                                    15

				
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