Discrimination against foreigners in the patent system

The national treatment principle

Governments typically want the weakest possible protection for foreign firms in their domestic markets to facilitate free-riding on foreign technologies.

Discriminating against foreigners, therefore, violates these international treaties.

Evidence of discrimination in the modern era

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

These two papers hint at the fact that there might be discrimination in the patent system.

This finding led the authors to conclude that, at least in China, the patent system might serve technology protectionism.

The story does not end here

Collectively, these studies have only scratched the surface of the discriminatory treatment of foreigners.

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I am a Professor of Innovation Policy at Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne.

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Gaétan de Rassenfosse

Gaétan de Rassenfosse

I am a Professor of Innovation Policy at Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne.

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