Zhihong Yu , Markus Eberhardt, Christian Helmers, 27 September 2011

The number of domestic patent filings in China increased at an annual rate of 35% from 1999 to 2006. But the reasons behind this ‘patent explosion’ are unclear. By compiling a new dataset of 20,000 Chinese manufacturing firms, this column shows that the explosion has been ignited by the ICT sector.

Bas Straathof, Sander van Veldhuizen, 09 December 2010

Barely 20% of European patents are validated in smaller EU member states – and this share is falling. This column argues that low validation rates are problematic for two reasons. They shelter firms from technological competition and they make a country less attractive to foreign innovators. It concludes that the introduction of the EU patent would solve these issues.

Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Jérôme Danguy, 14 July 2010

For more than 40 years, many governments and professional associations have acted, voted, or lobbied against the implementation of the EU patent. This column argues that the EU patent would drastically reduce patenting costs for applicants and generate more income for both the European Patent Office as well as most national offices, all the while saving €120 million in legal fees.

Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Malwina Mejer, 10 April 2009

The European Patent Office has offered a centralised examination service for the 34 member states of the European Patent Convention since the 1970s. However, once patents are granted by the EPO, there is no uniform system to enforce them. They must be validated and enforced by each member state. This column argues that the resulting uncertainty about the validity and market reach of patents reduces innovation.

John Van Reenen, Philippe Aghion, Luigi Zingales, 20 March 2009

This column explains how institutional investors can boost firm innovation. It shows that firms owned by institutional investors are granted more high-quality patents because institutional investors motivate managers to innovate via career concerns.

Alberto Galasso, Mark Schankerman, 29 November 2008

The EU is considering two major policy initiatives to improve patent enforcement – patent litigation insurance and establishment of a centralised patent court. This column studies the US experience in centralising patent decisions and concludes that a European Patent Court would likely bring clarity to patent rights, making the market for innovation more efficient.

Mark Schankerman, Alberto Galasso, 31 August 2008

The 'market for innovation' - the licensing and sale of patents - is one of the principal incentives for firms to invest in R&D. In CEPR DP 6946, Galasso and Schankerman set out to examine the impact that US developments have had on market efficiency, by studying the length of patent infringement disputes and find that the US system has performed surprisingly well in recent decades.

Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Gaétan de Rassenfosse, 01 June 2008

Patent-based measures of innovation are often accused of reflecting the propensity to patent rather than actual research productivity. This column presents a better measure of patenting that reflects research productivity and identifies policies that affect research productivity and the propensity to patent.

Sudipto Bhattacharya, Sergei Guriev, 09 November 2007

Patenting has soared in recent decades, but much intermediate knowledge is protected by industrial secrecy, so relaxing patent protection must impact the secrecy option. Recent research suggests that the relationship between patent protection and knowledge transmission is hump-shaped and sector-specific. This suggests that patent protection standards should be sector-specific.

Antonio Cabrales, 21 June 2007

Regulating prices in the pharmaceutical markets can be rather ineffective from a welfare-enhancing viewpoint and the US, despite its complaints, does not seem to have significantly higher prices than other countries with similar income levels.

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