The anatomy of rise and fall of patenting and propensity to patent: The case of Sweden

Fluctuations in patenting frequency and propensity to patent have caught increasing interest, not the least since the emergence of a worldwide pro-patent era. In this paper fluctuations in Swedish patent frequency are described and analyzed, based on statistics and questionnaire survey studies among large and small patentees as well as among IP consultancy firms, complemented with interviews. The results confirm the importance of size of R&D and size of patenting resources for both large and small firms and for both positive and negative growth of patenting. In addition, some new determinants were found, of which some also discriminated between large and small firms. A shift to more quality-oriented patenting strategies with more selective patenting led to decreased patenting propensity and frequency, especially among large firms. As to propensity to patent using different routes, national first filings are declining in the longer run on average for small countries like Sweden and Finland, as especially large companies internationalize their IP operations and increasingly use the PCT route. 

Keywords: Patent; Intellectual property right; Frequency; Propensity; Appropriation; Innovation; Sweden

Published in International Journal of Intellectual Property Management, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 169-198.