OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers

The OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) leads OECD research on the contribution of science, technology and industry to well-being and economic growth. STI Working Papers cover a broad range of topics including definition and measurement of science and technology indicators, global value chains, and research on policies to promote innovation. These technical or analytical working papers are prepared by staff or outside consultants to share early insights and elicit feedback.


Impact of Patent Co-Operation Treaty Data on Epo Patent Statistics and Improving the Timeliness of EPO Indicators

The Patent Cooperation Treaty provides the possibility to seek patent rights in a large number of countries by filing a single international application with a single patent office. Since the mid-1980s, the patent cooperation treaty (PCT) procedure has become a popular method for filing patent applications, as is reflected in the substantial increase in PCT applications over the past 15 years.

This paper analyses the impact of the PCT data on the European Patent Office (EPO) patent statistics, and explores methods to improve the timeliness of the EPO indicators by estimating the number of PCT applications which enter the EPO regional phase (see Annex A for details). This paper shows the following main impacts of PCT data in the EPO patent statistics:

  • Including all EPO designated PCT applications data will overestimate the total number of EPO patent applications; and
  • It will introduce a bias in favour of non-EPC countries (countries that are not signatory ...


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