Catalina Martinez (CSIC Institute of Public Goods and Policies), Lauren Ciaramella & Yann Ménière, “How to track patent transfers in Europe: a first empirical analysis”
This article provides both methodological and empirical contributions to the literature on the analysis of technology marketsand patenttransfers. Drawing onmore than half a million granted patents filed at EPO between 1998 and 2012 and almost300,000 inscriptions affecting changes in their ownership atthe EPO and top national registers (France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain), we carry out an empirical analysis ofthe market for European patents in medical technologies. The methodology that we develop makes it possible to track and group parallel inscriptionsin different European validation countries, and to distinguishbetween intragroup transfers and real market transactions (bare). Around 35% of the 40,919 EPO patents on medical technologies in our sample were transferred at least once in their lifetime, and two thirds of those transfers happened ‘intragroup’. We findthatthe number of transfers has positive effectson the family size,scope andrenewals. Focusing on the bare transfers, we observe that most of the almost 2,000 real market transactions in our sample concernone patentonly, and that sales of large patent portfolios are not frequent in this industry. The multiplicity of small transactions moreover suggests a heterogeneity of economicbehaviors, possibly driven by patents with multiple ownership and a high share of start-ups. We find that a small minority of large actors is present on both the supply and demand sides of the market, acting more frequently than other types of agentsand accounting for a large part of transactions in the patent market.