Patents, Innovation and Economic Performance

OECD Conference Proceedings

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This publication presents a collection of the policy-oriented empirical studies and stakeholders' views designed to show how patent regimes can contribute more efficiently to innovation and economic performance.  Topics covered include the links between patents and economic performance, changes in patent regimes, patents and entrepreneurship, patents and diffusion of technology, IPR for software and technology, and current and future policy challenges.




Scope and Nature of the Patent Surge

A View from Germany

The patent surge in the 1990s – during which the number of German patent applications at the European Patent Office more than doubled - was not accompanied by similar development in R&D expenditure. This calls for explanations. Whilst acknowledging that there have been several institutional changes that affect the “supply side” of patents, this paper concentrates on the changing demand patterns for patents from the perspective of companies. Using a sample of more than 500 German companies active in patenting and responsible for 40% of German patent applications as a basis, we first investigate changes in the importance of patents and alternative instruments to protect intellectual property. As a second step, we ask whether the patterns in reasons for patenting have changed. We found that in the last five years both formal patent protection and the role of informal ...


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