Authors:Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie and Nicolas van Zeebroeck
The renewal of patents and their geographical scope for protection constitute two essential dimensions in a patent’s life,
and probably the most frequently used patent value indicators. The intertwining of these dimensions (the geographical scope
of protection may vary over time) makes their analysis complex, as any measure along one dimension requires an arbitrary choice
on the second. This paper proposes a new indicator of patent value, the scope-year index, combining the two dimensions. The
index is computed for patents filed at the EPO from 1980 to 1996 and validated in its member states. It shows that the average
value of patent filings has increased in the early eighties but has constantly decreased from the mid-eighties until the mid
nineties, despite the institutional expansion of the EPO. This result sheds a new and worrying light on the worldwide boom
in patent filings.
Authors:Nicolas van Zeebroeck, Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, and Wook Han
This paper analyses several issues that arise when measuring technological specialisation with patent data. Three starting
choices are required regarding the data source, the statistical measure and the sectoral aggregation level. We show that the
measure is highly sensitive to the data source and to the level of sectoral aggregation. The statistical analysis further
suggests that the most stable and reliable measures of technological specialization are obtained with patents applied at the
EPO, with Gini or C20 as statistical measure and the 4-digits aggregation level of the IPC classification system.