Research and analysis

A study of patent thickets

Report analysing whether entry of UK enterprises into patenting in a technology area is affected by patent thickets in the technology area.


A study of patent thickets

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The aim is to contribute to our understanding of the role of patent thickets as a barrier to entry into new technologies for UK enterprises, in particular small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

The report consists of several parts:

  1. A review of the literature on patent thickets, including the limited empirical evidence regarding effects of patent thickets on research & development investments and competition;
  2. Discussion of the factors contributing to thicket formation and growth;
  3. An empirical evaluation of the extent to which patent thickets appear to be barriers to entry in some technology areas.

Authors: B. H. Hall, C. Helmers, G. von Graevenitz, C. Rosazza-Bondibene.

Published 30 July 2013