Patenting Procedures and Filing Strategies at the EPO

Niels Stevnsborg and Bruno van Pottelsberghe

in The Economics of the European Patent System

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780199216987
Published online May 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191711831 | DOI:
 Patenting Procedures and Filing Strategies at the EPO

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This chapter describes the various routes that can be chosen to obtain patent protection in some or all of the European countries. The EPO offers a centralized granting process, which includes various stages from the search for prior art, to the substantive examination and the final decision to grant the application. A typology of four broad filing strategies is developed to characterize the applicants' behaviour: a good will with fast track, a good will with slow track, a bad will with slow track, and a deliberate abuse of the system. It is shown that the chosen strategy will affect the patenting route, the drafting style, and the interaction with the EPO. Some of these filing strategies may induce an unwanted burden on the patent office; a disproportionate degree of uncertainty to competitors; and an unclear published prior art.

Keywords: European Patent Convention; patenting strategy; patent drafting; patent filing; procedural duration; uncertainty; patenting routes; Patent Cooperation Treaty

Chapter.  12900 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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