The European Patent Office (EPO) has published a study which assesses the impact of the European patent system on the circulation of technologies through trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) in the European Single Market. Industries with above-average use of intellectual property (IP), especially patents, are already known to make a greater contribution to GDP and external trade. This study shows that further improvement is however possible. Under the current patent system, which is fragmented post-grant, limitations are found to hinder cross-border trade and investment in IP- and technology-intensive industries. The Unitary Patent will remove many of these limitations, and it is thus expected to facilitate technology transfer through trade and FDI within the EU, thereby supporting productivity growth and economic development.
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