We analyze the impact of accession to the regional patent system established by the European Patent Convention (EPC) on 14 countries that acceded between 2000 and 2008. We look at changes in patenting behavior by domestic and foreign applicants at the national patent offices and the European Patent Office (EPO). We find a strong change in patent filing behavior among foreigners seeking patent protection in the accession states, substituting EPO patents for domestic patents immediately. However, there is no discernible reaction among domestic entities in terms of domestic filings, although we do find some evidence that applicants in accession states increased their propensity to file patents with the EPO post-accession. Inventors in accession countries also increase their patent filings slightly post-accession, both at the EPO and at the national offices.
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Also published as: NBER Working Paper No. 24207
Also published as: Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper No. 18-03