The Economics of the European Patent System: IP Policy for Innovation and Competition

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Why does society allow, or even encourage, private appropriation of inventions? When do patents encourage competition, when do they hamper it? How should society design the compromise between the interest of the inventor and the interest of the users of patented inventions? How should the patent system adapt to new technological areas? These questions and many more are addressed by the authors in this groundbreaking analysis of the economics behind the European patent system. Beginning with the history and principles of the patent system, the book then examines the economic effects of patenting on innovation and the diffusion of technology and growth. Throughout the book the theory and the reality are discussed alongside real world examples and comparison between the European, USA, and Japanese patent systems.


1 Introduction

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About the author (2007)

Dominique Guellec is Principal Economist at the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) in Paris. He conducts policy oriented analysis on the economic aspects of intellectual property rights (IPR), notably patents, and develops statistics in the field. Until December 2005, he was Chief Economist of the European Patent Office in Munich, with the task of informing EPO policy for economic related matters and to conduct studies and projects on economic aspects of patenting in Europe. Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie is Chief Economist of the European Patent Office (EPO). He has been professor at the Brussels' University (ULB) since September 1999 and as holder of the Solvay S.A. Chair of Innovation he teaches courses related to the economics and management of innovation and intellectual property. Until November 2005, he was Vice-president of the Solvay Business School, Director of its MBA Programs and of its International Exchange Program. In the past he has worked at the OECD, as a visiting researcher at the Columbia Business School (NYC) and at the Research Institute of the METI (Tokyo), and has been visiting Professor at the Institute of Innovation Research of Hitotsubashi University (Tokyo) and at the University of Stellenbosh Business School (Cape Town).

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