Examiner amendments to applications to the european patent office: Procedures, knowledge bases and country specificities

Joaquín M. Azagra-Caro and Elena M. Tur
The geography of knowledge flows has shown that the probability of a patent applicant rather than the examiner originating a citation depends on differences between citing and cited countries. How the characteristics of the citing country affect that probability has received less attention. Using European Patent Office (EPO) data of over 3,500,000 citations (1997-2007), we find that the probability of applicant citation is higher as national economic and scientific strengths increase, if applicants and examiners come from the same country and if the country belongs to EPO. This ‘country club’ effect is comparable to that found for US Patent and Trademark Office.