A study published on 14 November 2017 by the EPO finds that the Unitary Patent could significantly enhance technology transfer in the EU through more trade and foreign direct investment (FDI). The study "Patents, Trade and FDI in the European Union" was carried out by a team of economists from the EPO, the University of Colorado Boulder and the London School of Economics and focuses on high-tech manufacturing industries, including ICT, chemicals and medical devices, which make intensive use of intellectual property rights. It shows that, while patents already have a positive effect on trade and FDI in Europe, their impact is currently hindered by the lack of truly barrier-free EU-wide patent protection.
The study provides evidence of the benefits of patent protection for the European economy. According to the EPO President Benoît Battistelli, "The Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court, which are expected to be implemented soon, will be a vital step towards the realisation of an EU single market for technology, and will support productivity growth and economic development in Europe." The Unitary Patent will address several shortcomings of the current patent regime, and is thus expected to facilitate technology transfer through trade and FDI within the EU, especially in countries that are currently less attractive for patent owners. By cutting the overall costs by 70%, the Unitary Patent will facilitate the access to the European market of innovation and technology for SMEs, universities and research centres in particular.
Access the study by clicking here.