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The Economics of the European Patent SystemIP Policy for Innovation and Competition$
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Dominique Guellec and Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199216987

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216987.001.0001

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The European Patent System at the Crossroad

The European Patent System at the Crossroad

(p.216) 8 The European Patent System at the Crossroad
The Economics of the European Patent System

Dominique Guellec

Bruno van Pottelsberghe

Oxford University Press

As the role of patents has become central in the knowledge economy, there is evidence that the current institutional and legal setting is unable to cope with the corresponding challenges. This difficulty is illustrated by the explosion of patent numbers and voluminosity, by recent controversies around genes and software, and by the inability of European countries to move forward with a more integrated patent system. This chapter presents a series of possible reforms based on economic analysis. These include putting the quality of patents first so as to reduce the number of applications; making procedures stricter for applicants; reinforcing the international integration of the system at a European level; and inscribing the economic mission of the system in the European Patent Convention so that the case law would integrate economic concerns.

Keywords:   patent quality, workload, European Patent Convention, economics of patents, integrated patent system

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