Economics at your fingertips  

Business Method Patents in Europe and their Strategic Use – Evidence from Franking Device Manufacturers

Stefan Wagner

Law and Economics from EconWPA

Abstract: There has been a wide-spread misconception based on the imprecise wording of Art. 52 of the European Patent Convention (EPC) that the protection of business methods by patents is prohibited in Europe. This paper investigates the legal framework set by patent laws with respect to the patentability of business methods, contrasting the situation in Europe and the situation in the US. It is shown that in praxi business methods have never been excluded from patentability in Europe. Further, 1,901 European patent applications relating to business methods are found by identifying European equivalents to granted USPTO patents filed in US Class 705 (i.e. business method patents). The computation of major patent indicators reveals that European applications for business method patents differ from the average of all EPO patent applications with respect to the number of claims, the number of references made and the frequency of legal actions against granted patents. Additionally, a case study from the franking device industry gives evidence of the strategic use of business method patents leading to comparably high opposition rates against 44% of all granted patents.

JEL-codes: K (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ino and nep-law
Date: 2004-10-18
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 48
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)
Our link check indicates that this URL is bad, the error code is: 404 Not Found

Related works:
Working Paper: Business Method Patents in Europe and their Strategic Use - Evidence from Franking Device Manufacturers (2006) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Law and Economics from EconWPA
Series data maintained by EconWPA ().

Page updated 2017-06-25
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0410003