EPO (2012) - Workshop on Patent Thickets

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@article{epo2013workshop,
   title={Workshop on Patent Thickets},
   author={EPO},
   journal={Economic and Scientific Advisory Board, European Patent Office Recommendations, Available at http://www.epo.org/news-issues/news/2013/20130313.html},
   year={2013},
   abstract={This report represents the summary and synthesis of the ESAB workshop on patent thickets that was held on 26 September 2012 in Leuven, Belgium. This was the third workshop in a series held in 2012, comprising the role and structure of fees, patent quality, and patent thickets. Separate reports were produced for each topic. The workshop on patent thickets was designed to (1) encourage the exchange of thoughts from different stakeholders and discover their perceptions of patent thickets; (2) ponder sectoral differences, both in incidence and impact; (3) suggest ideas for future research; and (4) suggest possible institutional approaches to address challenges raised by the existence of patent thickets and the implications of those approaches for different stakeholders. Other important considerations were the role of standards, royalty stacking, compulsory licensing, and patent pools. Early discussions centred around the definition and incidence of patent thickets and there was widespread agreement on what the term represents. A patent thicket conjures up the image of a bramble, a large dense bush with thorns on the branches making it difficult to pass through without getting severely scratched. Thus a patent thicket usually involves (1) multiple patents on (2) the same, similar, or complementary technologies, (3) held by different parties, making it difficult to negotiate intellectual property rights (for example, licensing agreements) to the point where some scholars feel it might be socially inefficient.},
   discipline={Policy Report},
   research_type={Discussion},
   industry={All},
   thicket_stance={Weakly Pro},
   thicket_stance_extract={Finally, the group tackled prescriptive aspects. There was a lively discussion on whether patent thickets are a problem per se. While there was no clear answer to that, participants did agree that patent thickets appear to be closely related to the management of innovation and its complexity... A patent thicket generally has several characteristics (von Graevenitz, Wagner, & Harhoff, 2011). It usually involves (1) multiple patents or patent applications on (2) the same, similar, or complementary technologies, (3) held by different parties. Granted patents as well as patent applications may represent a barrier for new entrants, therefore a fair measure of patent thickets should include both.},
   thicket_def={#A-T, #B, Quotes Shapiro, References Shapiro, References Heller/Eisenberg, Complementary Inputs, Diversely-Held, Transaction Costs, Overlapping Patents},
   thicket_def_extract={Thus a patent thicket usually involves (1) multiple patents on (2) the same, similar, or complementary technologies, (3) held by different parties, making it difficult to negotiate intellectual property rights (for example, licensing agreements) to the point where some scholars feel it might be socially inefficient....  What is a patent thicket? A patent thicket conjures up the image of a thicket, or bramble, a large dense bush with thorns on the branches making it difficult to pass through without getting severely scratched. Thus a patent thicket is a “a dense web of overlapping intellectual property rights that a company must hack its way through in order to actually commercialize new technology” (Shapiro, 2001, p. 120). This makes it difficult to negotiate intellectual property rights (for example, licensing agreements1), to the point where some observers feel it might be socially inefficient (Bessen & Meurer, 2008b; Scotchmer, 1996). In such a situation, it is argued that strategic uses of the patent system by applicants may be interfering with one of the goals of the system, by obliging innovators to spend inordinate resources on transaction costs to bring new technology that builds on prior work to market. Such high transaction costs, if and when they exist, would tend to discourage innovation rather than encourage it.},  
   tags={}, 
   filename={EPO (2012) - Workshop on Patent Thickets.pdf}
}

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Abstract

This report represents the summary and synthesis of the ESAB workshop on patent thickets that was held on 26 September 2012 in Leuven, Belgium. This was the third workshop in a series held in 2012, comprising the role and structure of fees, patent quality, and patent thickets. Separate reports were produced for each topic. The workshop on patent thickets was designed to (1) encourage the exchange of thoughts from different stakeholders and discover their perceptions of patent thickets; (2) ponder sectoral differences, both in incidence and impact; (3) suggest ideas for future research; and (4) suggest possible institutional approaches to address challenges raised by the existence of patent thickets and the implications of those approaches for different stakeholders. Other important considerations were the role of standards, royalty stacking, compulsory licensing, and patent pools. Early discussions centred around the definition and incidence of patent thickets and there was widespread agreement on what the term represents. A patent thicket conjures up the image of a bramble, a large dense bush with thorns on the branches making it difficult to pass through without getting severely scratched. Thus a patent thicket usually involves (1) multiple patents on (2) the same, similar, or complementary technologies, (3) held by different parties, making it difficult to negotiate intellectual property rights (for example, licensing agreements) to the point where some scholars feel it might be socially inefficient.