Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research

Enforcing and Trading Patents – Evidence for Europe

This dissertation focuses on the empirical study of the enforcement and trade of patent rights in Europe. The means at an inventor’s disposal to enforce his exclusive right against others and/or to sell his protected idea represent two fundamental preconditions for a functioning patent system, and for incentivizing innovation. So far, empirical studies on these two aspects in Europe are quite limited in number, which is primarily due to the scarcity of large-scale data on the one hand, and the institutional fragmentation at the national level on the other hand. Yet, research in this field appears much needed given the upcoming introduction of the “Unified Patent Court”, which will be the first pan-European court for patent litigation, and the recent rise of activities in the market for patents. The first part analyzes two important enforcement aspects – namely, forum shopping and bifurcation – in the context of the German patent litigation system. The second part introduces a newly generated dataset covering patent ownership changes. Prior research has largely considered patent ownership as static, that is, that the currently observed patent owner is equal to the originator of the invention. This dataset firstly allows the quantification of activities in the so-called market for patents, and secondly the separation of inventive activities from commercial activities, which is of high relevance for informed innovation policymaking.



Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D.,
Prof. Tobias Kretschmer, Ph.D. (LMU)