The Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office


The last two decades have seen an unprecedented increase in patent applications at the USPTO (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) and the EPO (European Patent Office). As the trends in Figure 3.1 demonstrate, the growth in appUcations started earher in the U.S. than in Europe,1 and patent grants have followed applications more closely at the USPTO than in Europe.1 Using data on U.S. patent applications and grants Popp et al. (2003) determine factors influencing the length of the patent examination process. In this paper, I focus on the determinants of the duration of the patent examination process at the EPO with the objective to provide a first analysis of potential drivers of the duration of patent office decision-making distinguishing 30 technical fields.


Patent Application Patent Protection European Patent European Patent Office Patent Office 
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