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    How can Patent Markets Enable Growth? – a Trans-Atlantic Workshop with the European Commission and Vinnova

    A transatlantic workshop has been organised together with the European Commission with global corporate practitioners, policymakers from EC/SME & GROWTH and the US Trade Commission, European and other Patent Offices, and selected experts in the field of patenting, licensing among others, to identify and prioritize issues towards a market in patents. Special focus will also be given to SME/individual firms and new markets, especially North-South and emerging markets. The results of the workshop will be considered as input for further studies and policy proposals in this area. The workshop will be held in Brussels on March 3, 2016.

    If you are interested in the follow-up information from this event, please contact by email or sign up for the ullberg report. There may also be the opportunity to listen in on a webcast for select interested parties.

    Eskil Ullberg, PhD


    What are the issues?

    The international trade flows have changed direction in the last few years, where the South is now the net buyer of the products and services from the North[1]. This has happened thanks to opening of markets, trade negotiations, better economic policies, etc. However, when it comes to technology exchange with patents, the markets are not that developed. An intense focus on enforcement has dominated the discussions, in a one-sided protection agenda, more than trade, creating a litigation market with courts clearing prices. This appears to be similar at national levels between firms, especially large versus SME/individual or rent seeking firms abusing the patent system, hindering efficient trade in ideas between firms. To remedy this deficiency we are organizing a workshop focusing on transactions, in particular the mechanisms for exchange in patented technology. This is not only beneficial for today’s larger firms already engaged in this market but SME/individuals and the new markets, especially the mentioned North-South exchange and emerging markets.

    Experimental research on markets in patents indicate that a more impersonal, or open, market in patents with demand side bidding and trading intermediaries may double the use of patented technology in the economy compared to today, i.e. a development in economic efficiency.

    The workshop may therefore bring forth valuable input on issues – and priorities – from practitioners, patent offices and EU and US policy makers, on how to facilitate such an open market in patents, aiming at creating a strategic transatlantic initiative to inform policy.

    [1] Ref. to Michael Spence in 2010/2011. In GDP terms emerging markets and the developing world are slightly more than 50% of world GDP. GDP growth rate Q3 2015 of emerging markets 4.2% (with China at 6.2%) and developing world 1.6%, indicating that this trend will continue for years if not decades or a century given a population of 6b today compared to 1b of the North. Source: JP Morgan.

    [2] See  Ullberg, Trade in Ideas (2012) : Chapter 3 (performance and behavioral properties of patent market institutions), 4 (coordination between specialized firms through markets with prices as signaling of technology investments) and 6 (policy conclusions and proposals).

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