Fast-tracking “green” patent applications: an empirical analysis


Working Paper 107

Abstract

This paper presents the first empirical analysis of programmes to fast-track ‘green’ patent applications in place in seven Intellectual Property offices around the world.

We find that only a small share of green patent applications (between 1% and 20%, depending on the patent office) request accelerated examination, suggesting that patent applicants have a strong incentive to keep their patent applications in the examination process for as long as possible.

Fast-tracking programmes reduce the examination process by several years, compared to patents going through normal examination procedure and have seemingly accelerated the diffusion of technological knowledge in green technologies.

In addition, we find that applicants require accelerated examination for patents of relatively higher value and that fast-tracking programmes seem to be particularly appealing to start-up companies in the green technology sector that are currently raising capital but still generate small revenue.

Antoine Dechezleprêtre