nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2020‒08‒24
three papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Intellectual property aspects of the Japan-EU economic partnership agreement By Bonadio, Enrico; Mcdonagh, Luke; Sillanpaa, Tiffany M.
  2. Patent Boxes and the Success Rate of Applications By Ronald B. Davies; Dieter F. Kogler; Ryan Hynes
  3. The Problem of Earlier Rights: Evidence from the European Trademark System By Georg von Graevenitz; Stuart J.H. Graham; Amanda Myers

  1. By: Bonadio, Enrico; Mcdonagh, Luke; Sillanpaa, Tiffany M.
    Abstract: The Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (JEPA) was signed on 1 July 2018 and entered into force on 1 February 2019, with Ch.14 focusing on intellectual property (IP) rights. JEPA should be hailed as a positive contribution to strengthening IP protection in the two blocs, and therefore further promoting trade and reciprocal investments. The IP Ch. of JEPA covers all IP rights, including copyright, trade marks, geographical indications (GIs), designs and unregistered appearance of products, patents, supplementary protection certificates, trade secrets and pharma test data. Given the important role that GI provisions play in JEPA, this article pays particular attention to them. During the negotiations, Japan made concessions to the EU with regard to GIs protection. Indeed the EU has a strong interest here, as its Member States (in particular the Mediterranean and southern countries, namely France, Italy and Spain, and to a lesser extent Portugal and Greece) possess a large number of geographical names in relation to foodstuff, wines and spirits, such as Champagne, Parmigiano and Feta (conversely, the number of Japanese GIs protected in the EU under this agreement is far fewer).
    Keywords: artists' resale right; bilateral trade agreements; copyright; European Union; geographical indications; patents; Japan; supplementary protection certificates; trade marks; trade secrets
    JEL: L81
    Date: 2020–04–01
  2. By: Ronald B. Davies; Dieter F. Kogler; Ryan Hynes
    Abstract: Patent boxes significantly reduce the tax rate applied to income earned from a patent. Existing work finds that those reductions increase the number of patents. That said, not all patents are equally novel. In particular, the patent box encourages the submission of patents of marginal novelty, a selection effect that would reduce the average success rates of patents. At the same time, the increased return to patenting encourages additional effort in application preparation and prosecution, increasing success rates. While this predicts an ambiguous effect, due to lower financing costs, the net impact should be smaller for frequent innovators. We use data from applications to the European Patent Office from 1978 to 2017 and find that the introduction of a patent box increases the average success rate of applications by 4.4 percentage points, with the estimated effect becoming negative for frequent innovators. We further find that this effect is greater when boxes apply only to new innovations and when local development is required to access tax reductions. This suggests that for the frequent innovators, who form the bulk of submissions, patent boxes may indeed be encouraging the submission of marginally-novel applications.
    Keywords: patent box, patents, likelihood of patent grant
    JEL: H20 O30
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Georg von Graevenitz (Queen Mary University, CCP and CREATe); Stuart J.H. Graham (Georgia Institute of Technology); Amanda Myers (United States Patent and Trademark Office)
    Abstract: Laws protecting intellectual property rights balance interests of earlier and later rights holders. The tradeoffs are well established for patents. We argue that similar considerations apply to trademarks. Jurisdictions differ in how strongly they protect earlier rights, with EU trademark law protecting the registered use of an earlier right for much longer than US trademark law. Laws in both jurisdictions seek to eventually align registered use of earlier rights with their actual use, creating space on the trademark register for later rights. Data from a recent reform of trademark fees reveal that registered and actual use of EU marks frequently fail to align as intended. We analyse trademark opposition cases at EUIPO to test whether this creates costs for owners of later rights. We find that a subset of firms relies on the protection afforded to earlier rights to permanently expand the breadth of their marks beyond actual use, limiting access to trademarks for later applicants. We discuss policy implications.
    Keywords: Trademark, Clutter, Opposition, Non-use, Barriers to entry.
    Date: 2020–03–11

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.