his project is motivated by the ongoing discussion regarding the effects of a research use exemption from patent infringement. While some argue that the lack of a research use exemption constitutes a major obstacle to the diffusion of innovative knowledge, others hold against this that the implementation of a research use exemption could have a detrimental effect on the propensity to patent pioneer inventions so that in the end, as pioneer inventors rely on alternative appropriation mechanisms, the created knowledge is withheld from the public completely. By focusing on the effect of a research use exemption on the propensity to patent of a pioneer inventor and the effect of a research use exemption on the incentive for a follow-up inventor to invest in R&D we intend to tackle the question whether Europe is in need of a harmonisation of national patent law, either in strengthening or in weakening the research use exemption.

The research programme "Strengthening Efficiency and Competitiveness in the European Knowledge Economies (SEEK)" is funded by the State of Baden-Württemberg.