nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2020‒06‒15
four papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Non-practicing entities and transparency in patent ownership in Europe By Valerio Sterzi; Jean-Paul Rameshkoumar; Johannes Van Der Pol
  2. (Tentative) Proposal of Classification Items for Support Support Services for the IP Support Desk, which Could Be the Basis of EBPM in Measures Supporting Intellectual Property Utilization by SMEs (Japanese) By KOBAYASHI Toru
  3. Innovation Activities in Prewar Japan: Patent Bibliographic Information Database (Japanese) By INOUE Hiroyasu; OKAZAKI Tetsuji; SAITO Yukiko; NAKAJIMA Kentaro
  4. National brands in hard discounters: Market expansion and bargaining power effects By Bonnet, Céline; Bouamra-Mechemache, Zohra; Klein, Gordon

  1. By: Valerio Sterzi; Jean-Paul Rameshkoumar; Johannes Van Der Pol
    Abstract: Non-practising entities (NPEs) file or buy patents from a variety of sources and employ them primarily to obtain license fees by asserting them against accused infringers, without any intention of using the invention they protect. This report gives unique insight into how NPEs game Europe’s patent system for profit. The report also provides further evidence that the problem of NPEs is migrating to Europe from the US, and it proposes policy responses to increase patent ownership transparency. The report is largely based on forensic original research into two cases. These cases point to a serious lack of transparency in patent and corporate ownership. They demonstrate how shell or dormant companies, often of unknown ownership and commonly established in the UK, are used to acquire European patents, and how these companies exploit those patents in courts in the European Union – especially Germany. The report also shows that due to the lack of transparency of patent ownership, the problem of NPEs gaming the system is almost certainly far worse than the report states.
    Keywords: Non-practicing entities; Patent trolls; Patent litigation; Patent ownership transparency
    JEL: O31 O34 D23
    Date: 2020
  2. By: KOBAYASHI Toru
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the support cases of the IP Support Desk, which provides one-stop support for intellectual property consultations to SMEs, extracts support services that were evaluated to have been sufficiently useful in practice, and (tentatively) proposes classification items for support services that contribute to an accurate understanding of the users' needs, appropriate verification and evaluation of the effects of support measures. This proposal includes the classification items following the path of "creation," "protection" and "utilization" and the classification items related to basic and general support, which would further be cross-referenced by "patent/utility," "design," "trademark," and again by "domestic business support" and "overseas development support."
    Date: 2020–03
  3. By: INOUE Hiroyasu; OKAZAKI Tetsuji; SAITO Yukiko; NAKAJIMA Kentaro
    Abstract: Using patent information to understand the role of innovation in the process of industrialization in Japan, we examined paper documents and constructed a patent bibliographic information database from 1910 to 1945, which mainly consists of the prewar period. In this paper, we report the database construction method and the descriptive analysis using the database, especially from the viewpoint of the geographical distribution and collaboration pattern of innovation activities. We find the following results. First, patent applications are already concentrated in metropolitan areas, especially in Tokyo, from 1910. Second, patents categorized to technology class with higher technology tend to be more concentrated. While the number of collaborating patents are smaller compared to current numbers in 2020, the average number of collaborators increased from 1.1 to 1.5 during this period. The average number of collaborators for patents filed by foreigners is also lager and also increased during this period.
    Date: 2020–04
  4. By: Bonnet, Céline; Bouamra-Mechemache, Zohra; Klein, Gordon
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the strategic role of the recent introduction of national brand products by hard discounters in the French market and its impact both at the retail and manufacturer levels. We use a structural econometric model of vertical relationships that takes into account the competition between both mainstream retailers and hard discounters, and between national brands and private labels. We apply this model to the French dairy dessert market, which is characterized by a high penetration of private labels and a high concentration at the manufacturer and retail levels. Using a counterfactual analysis, we show that the introduction of national brands by hard discounters does not only act as means to attract different consumer groups and extend their market share. In addition and even maybe more important, we also show that the introduction of national brands by hard discounters serves as a means to improve their bargaining positioning with respect to their private label providers.
    Keywords: Structural Model,Counterfactual Analysis,Hard Discount,The Role of Private Labels and National Brands
    JEL: L11 L25 L81 M31
    Date: 2020

This nep-ipr issue is ©2020 by Giovanni Ramello. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.