Differences between examiner and applicant citations in the European Patent Office: a first approach

03/03/2014 to 05/03/2014
19th Science and Technology Indicators (STI) Conference: Context counts: Pathways to Master Big and Little Data
In the US Patent Office, examiners add extra shares of citations to foreign applicants. We explore a similar country club effect in the European Patent Office (EPO). Using EPO data of over 3,500,000 citations in years 1997-2007, we find national variation in the probability of an applicant originating a citation rather than the examiner. Symmetrically to the US case, EPO examiners add extra citations to non-signatory member states. Moreover, if examiners are likely to come from the same country of the applicants, applicant-citation shares increase, pointing to the existence of national bias in EPO patent examiners. These results hold after controlling for sub-national characteristics of the patenting process.
Leiden, Países Bajos
Joaquín M. Azagra-Caro, Elena M. Tur