Chief Economist


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.).

The current Chief Economist is Yann Ménière (contact:

Economic research agenda

The Chief Economist unit aims to produce evidence-based research and advanced analysis on a range of policy issues relevant to the EPO.

  • Role of patents in economic growth, performance and employment
  • Economic analysis of the European patent system and the expected impact of the forthcoming unitary patent and Unified Patent Court
  • Development of new patent-based indicators and analysis of trends and policy issues, particularly in technology fields related to climate change and Industry 4.0
  • Economic analysis of the role of patents in the development of markets for technology

Latest studies

Patents, trade marks and startup finance: Funding and exit performance of European startups

This study aims to investigate the link between startups filing for IP rights and their access to finance. To that end, data on patent and trade mark applications are combined with data on startup financing at their seed, early or late funding stages.

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Innovation trends in additive manufacturing

This study offers a timely update on the ever-evolving innovation trends in additive manufacturing technologies. It provides a comprehensive picture of recent developments and of the key players shaping this transformative field. 

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EPO innovation case studies

Three new case studies from the EPO highlight the role of patents in growing businesses that are developing technologies to detect, diagnose and treat cancer. According to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is the first or second leading cause of death of under 70-year-olds in over 100 countries and more medical innovation is desperately needed.

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