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Policy options for the improvement of the European patent system

Research output: Book/anthology/dissertation/reportReportResearch

  • Department of Business Law
  • Centre for International Business Law (CIBL)

This project has been initiated - and this report written - in order to assess how the European patent

system best fulfils its objective of defining the exclusive rights granted to inventors so as to further

the goal of enhancing social and economic welfare by means of encouraging inventions and their

distribution. Finding the right balance is important, since the reward offered to inventors in the form

of exclusive rights provides the incentive to innovate, but if the reward is too excessive, it may

hamper innovation and the distribution of knowledge.

The general premise of this report is that the European patent system has so far been a positive

factor in promoting innovation. Therefore, it is not the objective of the report to evaluate whether

such system should or should not exist. Rather, the report works from the starting position that the

European patent system may be operating in certain ways and within certain sectors such that

various improvements can be made.

Thus, the aim of this report is:

  • to analyze the historical and present impact of the European patent system on innovation

and diffusion of knowledge

  • to identify current key trends in the patent system
  • to identify the challenges these trends present
  • to point to policy options that may meet these challenges, and in the process, improve the functioning of the European patent system

Matthew J. Elsmore was rapporteur for this report which was administered by The Danish Board of Technology/ETAG, and presented to the European Parliament on two occasions. The study was requested by STOA, a body whose brief is the 'Assessment of Scientific and Technological Policy Options for the European Parliament'.

Original languageEnglish
Place of publicationBrussels
Number of pages71
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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