The Cost of Patent Protection: Renewal Propensity

Author: Mark James Thompson (Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property)

Using a newly collected time-series country panel of renewal fees, this paper finds a small, but significant patentee sensitivity to patent renewal fees, which likely indicates renewal fees are low compared to the exclusionary value confer within a jurisdiction. The low sensitivity may be explained by a decline in fees relative to GDP over the last 30 years. We also find that patent family effects drive much of the renewal behavior at the jurisdictional level, and that estimates of patentee behavior at the jurisdictional level are likely to be biased or incomplete without accounting for the family owner’s global strategy.

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