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« Patently-O Bits and Bytes No. 4 |
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Posted on Jan 23, 2008 at 09:22 AM | Permalink
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Given the cluster of top rank jurisdictions in the middle, around 50%, and the fact that nearly every EPO filing designates DE, why is Germany down at 20%. Answer: because there are so many German patent attorneys, filing so many cheap cases, for so many local German employee inventors. Why that? Because the German Employee Inventor Statute imposes on employers an obligation to file on any patentable innovations, and an obligation to pay compensation to the employee inventors that is pro rata with the success of the innovation. So, is that German Statute good, or bad? Would Americans prefer that the USPTO were also sitting at 20% rather than 50%? So, how about German Employee Inventor provisions in the Senate Bill too, if Senator Reid wants more filings.
Japan copied that idea (along with pretty much all the rest of German patent law). That would explain a value for JP around 20%. But 14%? Maybe foreigners see more point filing in Germany than in Japan (see comment number 1 in the thread just after this one).
Jan 23, 2008 at 10:16 AM
And everyone asks "well why can Japan get all it's apps done and the US can't?" Maybe it's because nobody but the people in Japan want an app there, and even most of them would rather file in the US, china etc.
Those numbers are a bit misleading also because they are a percentage. If it was total number of apps filed by foreign people US would be #1, off the chart I bet. Yeah Tailand has 86% foreign, but nobody cares because that just means 86 out of all 100 apps they got all year were from foreign people. One examiner can handle that ezmode.
Not to mention, examiners in Korea don't even have to give but a bs answer "Your invention would have been easy for one of ordinary skill to invent so it is rejected". I've actually read that on several of their OA's, and it flows straight from their law. The reference cited is hardly even 103 material over here.
Jan 23, 2008 at 12:06 PM
Those charts would be more informative if they included Taiwan.
Jan 24, 2008 at 02:11 AM
The Israel data is wrong. About 25% of Israel Patent Applications are from local applicants.
The attractive of filing in local market varies from State to State as does the relative expense of filing abroad.
In Israel a smaller percentage of patents issue to local clients since since these are often small timers who don't understand the system and frequently don't search, whereas foreign entities typically file in Israel after receiving a PCT search report and knowing where they stand.
Foreign companies file in Israel to stop Israeli competitors in fields where Israel excels, so military, pharmaceutical and telecommunication companies and cutting tool manufacturers routinely file here.
Another advantage is the fact that applications can be filed in Ehglish, so the costs for foreign entities is low.
With a small local population, Israeli industry has to export, so Israeli companies file in the US, Europe, Japan, China, India, roughly in that order of precedence.
US companies have a 180,000,000 local market and so are less export oriented. Only larger US companies file widely abroad.
I think the Chinese figures are wrong as well. They also change from year to year, with OEPD figures showing that more and more Chinese companies are filing patents, and they have to file locally first by law.
US companies going abroad routinely file in Canada, but Canada is not a first tier country to other patentees.
The figures reflect relative sizes of local market, type of economy, local innovation, IP enforcement and 101 other considerations. The raw data you provide, even if accurate, is not much use for anything really.
Dr. Michael Factor |
Jan 24, 2008 at 03:08 AM
David French writes:
This chart is worth looking at. You may have to press the "Link" button to see the WIPO statistics without the chart being clipped off.
Countries like Canada have been dominated by foreign applicants for years. It just means Canada is a popular place to file.
For 200 years US patent policy has been based on the premise that the US patent system is for Americans. The news is that the US patent system is about to become foreign dominated. The trend is inevitable. Turning to USPTO statistics:
U.S. Patent Statistics Summary Table, Calendar Years 1963 to 2006
US Utility Patent Applications By Country of Origin, Calendar Years 1965 to Present
In 2006 there were 3198 US patents issued to patentees wherein the first named inventor was resident in the People's Republic of China. In the same year, similar applications totaled 3768.
Meanwhile, according to WIPO statistics, in 2005 Chinese citizens filed 93,000 patent applications at home:
WIPO Patent Report: Statistics on Worldwide Patent Activity (2007 Edition)
PRC Chinese national filings 2005 of 93,000
When Chinese applicants as well as citizens from other countries become interested in obtaining patent protection in the United States, the United States patent system is going to be swamped with applications by foreigners.
What policy changes should Americans adopt under the circumstances? Will it still be "business as usual" for the next 50 or 100 years?
Persons concerned with the fate of the US patent system should be looking into the future
David J. French |
Jan 24, 2008 at 11:25 AM
Thank you David French. We need to see the trend not just a single snapshot. A few years ago, Samsung and LG were not even on the radar. Now they are in the top twenty US filers. Just see what happens when the Chinese get into US filing mode. Mind you, if they are as inequitable in their conduct before the USPTO as Bayer, US has nothing to worry about, even then.
Jan 27, 2008 at 08:52 AM
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Jason Rantanen, Associate ProfessorUniversity of IowaCollege of LawSSRN Articles
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