The EPO Chief Economist unit aims to provide high-level expertise and analysis and to foster well-informed policy debate on issues relating to patents, innovation and economic growth. It develops projects to help the EPO understand better how patents are used and what their economic impact is. Externally it promotes the EPO as a major player in the public arena (in academia, expert forums and the press, among policymakers, etc.).
This study, which has been carried out by the EPO in co-operation with the Handelsblatt Research Institute, is intended to provide users of the European patent system and the broader public alike with information about a major technology trend that is being observed across a whole range of technical fields. Known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, this trend is primarily driven by the emergence of the Internet of Things. It also encompasses a number of other technologies, such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
This study (November 2017) finds that the greater harmonisation of Europe’s patent system that will be achieved with the Unitary Patent will increase trade and FDI in high-tech sectors and in doing so boost technology transfer within the EU.
The case study series focuses on European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are successfully using patents for their business. They give concrete examples of how SMEs can leverage intellectual property to create value and growth, and provide a review of good practices in IP strategy and management.
The EPO Academic Research Programme provides financial support for rigorous research projects that set out to produce empirical evidence with relevant implications for policymakers and business in Europe.
The Chief Economist unit aims to produce evidence-based research and advanced analysis on a range of policy issues relevant to the EPO.