Research

Developing robust empirical research on topics related to intellectual property is at the core of 4iP Council’s work. We commission independent experts to provide robust data and information, as well as analysis, on the complex correlation between investment, invention, innovation, employment and social and economic success. Our research is conducted in accordance with agreed methodological principles.

Research, analysis and commentary


Pirates of the 3D Realm: strategies for IP protection from the widespread adoption of additive manufacturing by consumers

by Alessandro Burro, candidate at Bocconi University LL.M. in Law of Internet Technology

Pirates of the 3D Realm: strategies for IP protection from the widespread adoption of additive manufacturing by consumers

Additive manufacturing is a pillar of the 4.0 industry. As it goes for other technologies throughout history, the cost of a 3D printing machine will sink lower and lower, and the accessibility to these machines by consumers will enable them to print with a vast array of materials, thus enabling them to print whatever they would previously buy, in a physical store or from an online retailer. It will be easy to infringe on an IP right with only a cheap 3D printing machine and a digital file from which the machine can take the necessary instructions. This paper considers the IP implications of this evolution and explores the various policies available, or that could be easily available with simple adjustments to current laws, to protect IP rights from the risks associated with the widespread adoption of additive manufacturing by consumers.

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Categories: IP Management, Patent Strategy, Student Contribution

Market success for inventions - Patent Commercialisation Scoreboard: European SMEs (Key findings)

Market success for inventions - Patent Commercialisation Scoreboard: European SMEs (Key findings)

This European Patent Office study covers the ability of European small and medium-sized enterprises to bring inventions covered by European patents to market. The study shows that SMEs typically rely on European patents to protect high-potential inventions. Up to two thirds of these inventions are commercially exploited – around half exclusively by an SME itself and half with a partner, usually from another European country. European patents make this process much easier by providing protection in up to 44 different national markets. By analysing the patent commercialisation practices of European SMEs, the study offers policymakers valuable insights into the challenges facing these key players in European innovation ecosystems. The study is the first of a series of scoreboards dedicated to the market success of European patents. See the full report here: https://www.epo.org/service-support/publications.html#tab1

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Categories: Patent System and Patent Quality, SMEs

Injunctions in European Patent Law

by Prof. Dr. Lea Tochtermann of Mannheim University

Injunctions in European Patent Law

The paper covers the legal basis for the discussion on proportionality within TRIPS, European law as well as in selected European jurisdictions, focusing on Germany. It provides an outlook on whether the demand for legislative action is justified. An understanding of the legal background for the proportionality discussion within TRIPS, European law and selected European jurisdictions is offered as well as perspective on the proportionality discussion and its implications concerning the patent system as a whole. The paper was developed by Prof. Tochtermann as a resource supporting the 4iP Council webinar she presented on 14 May 2019 (see our Webinar page). It is a short version of the paper entitled ‘Injunctions in European Patent Law’ published January 2020 in ZGE/IPJ - Zeitschrift für Geistiges Eigentum/Intellectual Property Journal which is available in english and german at  https://www.mohrsiebeck.com/artikel/injunctions-in-european-patent-law-101628zge-2019-0018.

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Categories: IP and Competition Law, IP Enforcement, Legislation

Economic efficiency and field-of-use pricing of SEP licenses under FRAND terms

by Dr Eskil Ullberg, PhD, Adjunct Professor, George Mason University, Virginia, USA and Head of the Trade in Ideas Program, Institute of Management of Innovation and Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

Economic efficiency and field-of-use pricing of SEP licenses under FRAND terms

This summary paper is concerned with patented technology markets, and whether price differentiation based on field-of-use is economically efficient. The focus is on the licensing of SEPs on FRAND terms and conditions, including also the Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and the economic growth in the digital economy, especially for SMEs. The central argument proposed is that the difference in the value between usages of standardised technologies determines whether a single price for all usages or specific field-of-use prices are economically efficient. The full version of this paper will appear in the forthcoming issue of the Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property, Volume 9, 2019.

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Categories: Digital Single Market, FRAND, Licensing, SMEs, Standardisation

The examination of computer implemented inventions and artificial intelligence inventions

by Jean-Marc Deltorn, Andrew Thean, Markus Volkmer

The examination of computer implemented inventions and artificial intelligence inventions

Computer-implemented inventions and applications of artificial intelligence have become an important part of the current innovation landscape. This trend is demonstrated by a significant increase in patents filings in a variety of technical areas, from self-driving vehicles to applications supporting the fourth industrial revolution. The EPO, as the patent granting authority for the contracting states to the EPC, has developed, over time and in line with the case law of the Boards of Appeal, a stable practice regarding the patentability of computer-implemented inventions. This practice now also applies to applications in the field of artificial intelligence, where it offers a stable platform on which applicants and practitioners can secure patent protection for AI inventions at the EPO, with predictable outcomes. This paper provides guidance about the patentability of artificial intelligence at the EPO.

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Categories: Artificial Intelligence and Data, Patent System and Patent Quality

Patent Quality: Does One Size Fit All?

by Naina Khanna, Phd Candidate at Maastricht University, the Netherlands under the European IP Institutes Network Innovation Society (EIPIN-Innovation Society)

Patent Quality: Does One Size Fit All?

In this article a broad range of literature is analysed to answer the question; what the term "patent quality" may encompass and whether there could be one size fits all definition? The paper seeks to facilitate the identification of factors that influence the quality of patents, especially from a sound policy perspective.

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Categories: IP Enforcement, Patent System and Patent Quality, Student Contribution

Blockchain and Copyright Issues

by Maximilian Kiemle, LL.M. student at KU Leuven in Belgium.

Blockchain and Copyright Issues

This paper examines the use of blockchain-based copyright registries. It highlights associated issues and explores the viability of a number of legal and technical responses.

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Categories: Digital Platforms, IP Enforcement, Student Contribution