Title: Chinese patent applications at the EPO - investigation into filing patterns and motives from the examiner's perspective

Authors: Manfred Bruckmayer

Addresses: European Patent Office, Bayerstrasse 34, 80335 Munich, Germany

Abstract: This study examines filing patterns and strategic motives of Chinese applicants to file at the European Patent Office (EPO). For the study, a new methodology is employed which uses a viewpoint from inside a patent office: filing patterns of Chinese patent applications have been explored by conducting interviews with patent examiners; these patterns were compared to empirically known patterns of filing motives. Based on these results, two types of Chinese applicants are hypothesised in the technical fields investigated, namely newcomers and global challengers. Newcomers are small and medium sized enterprises, universities and research organisations or individuals. For newcomers, a filing pattern pointing to motives of preventing imitation and, under certain assumptions, signalling, is found. The global challengers are multinational companies, operating in telecommunications and computing. For global challengers, motives of preventing imitation and, under certain assumptions, exchange motives, such as cross-licensing or licensing, are suggested.

Keywords: intellectual property rights; IPR; patent strategy; China; patent applications; European Patent Office; EPO; patent filing patterns; patent filing motives; motivation; patent examiners; newcomers; global challengers; signalling; imitation; cross-licensing; licensing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIPM.2016.079590

International Journal of Intellectual Property Management, 2016 Vol.9 No.1, pp.51 - 77

Available online: 30 Sep 2016 *

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