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Working Paper 18-12

The European Patent System: A Descriptive Analysis

AUTHORS: Georg von Graevenitz & Antanina Garanasvili

ABSTRACT: The European Patent System consists of national patent offices (NPOs) and the supranational European Patent Office (EPO). EPO and the NPOs have granted patents in Europe side-by-side since 1980. The resulting patent system is complicated and less coordinated than might be expected. Firms must consider a number of variables when selecting the route of patenting they take within this system: price, rigour of examination, duration of examination, quality of legal redress. To date there is little descriptive evidence on how firms choose between EPO and national offices. This paper provides a rich descriptive analysis of patenting in Europe. We analyze how origin, size and technological focus of companies, affect how they choose among patent offices within the EPS and report differences in examination durations and grant rates across patent offices.

CITATION: Graevenitz von, G. & Garanasvili, A. (2018) "The European Patent System: A Descriptive Analysis"

Working Paper 18-12

Policy Brief 18-12

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