nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2017‒03‒26
one paper chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. New Perspectives on Patenting Activity in New Zealand 1860-1899 By Matthew Gibbons; Les Oxley

  1. By: Matthew Gibbons (University of Waikato); Les Oxley (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: Existing research suggests that New Zealand was, on a per capita basis, the wealthiest and most prolific patenting nation during the late nineteenth century. By quantifying lapsed applications, patent renewals, and expenditure on patent fees, rather than just patent applications, we consider the real level of innovative activity. Our results show that while reductions in patent fees and required advertising in the early 1880s led to a sharp increase in applications by people living in New Zealand, overseas patent applications and total expenditure on New Zealand patents showed relatively steady growth between 1860 and 1899. Lower fees succeeded in increasing patenting by skilled New Zealand trades workers (although engineers still dominated), however, patenting by unskilled workers, such as labourers, remained low. People living in New Zealand made over sixty per cent of patent applications, but overseas patentees paid over half of patent fees because relatively fewer of their applications lapsed or were not renewed. Although women made greater use of the patent system over time, even in 1899 they accounted for only 2.5 per cent of patent applications.
    Keywords: bubbles; New Zealand patents; Granger causality; patent expenditure
    JEL: O31 N17 N37
    Date: 2017–03–15

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