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Posts Tagged: "Yann Meniere"

‘Not a Field of Giants’: Trends in 3D Printing Tech Include Key Contributions from U.S., Small Companies

On July 13, the European Patent Office (EPO) published a landscaping study titled “Patents and additive manufacturing: Trends in 3D printing technologies”. The study highlighted current trends and identified industry leaders in additive manufacturing (AM), i.e. 3D printing. It noted that between 2015 and 2018 the number of AM patent applications increased at an average annual rate of 36%, with more than 4,000 AM patent applications filed in 2018 alone.

European Patent Office Study Shows Patents Matter for SMEs, Economic Growth

“IP matters for the European economy,” said Yann Ménière, the chief economist for the European Patent Office (EPO), who provided the opening keynote presentation at the EPO’s High-growth technology business conference 2019 on November 4 in Dublin, Ireland at Aviva Stadium. Leading off a packed two-day program, Ménière released the results of an EPO study on how Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) used intellectual property rights, specifically patents. SMEs typically file European patents for high-potential inventions that find their way to market, the EPO study finds. Therefore, not surprisingly, the EPO report also shows that SMEs that rely on patents have an above average number of employees, and those employees are higher paid and contribute more to European GDP.

Do Patents Truly Promote Innovation?

Invention, it has been shown, is driven primarily not by genius or happenstance but rather by markets and the expectation of the profit that can be gained by securing the patent rights to new technologies. Zorina Khan of Bowdoin College and the late Kenneth Sokoloff at UCLA found that among the “great inventors” of the 19th century, “their patterns of patenting were procyclical [and] responded to expected profit opportunities.” And as Khan noted elsewhere, “Ordinary people [are] stimulated by higher perceived returns or demand-side incentives to make long-term commitments to inventive activity.” By contrast, in countries without patent rights, Barro (1995) found that people have an “excessive incentive to copy” and insufficient incentive to invent for themselves. Moser (2004), meanwhile, reported that “inventors in countries without patent laws focus on a small set of industries … while innovation in countries with patent laws [is] much more diversified.”