In recent years, critical discussions have taken place regarding the effectiveness of the patent system. It is unclear whether the patent system provides incentives for increasing R&D activities. In the presence of patent thickets and patent litigations, doubts have emerged about the positive role of patents, in particular for small and medium-sized firms (SMEs). In contrast, studies show the high importance of patents for SMEs with regard to access to financing or firm survival. Moreover, a new division of work between large companies and SMEs or young firms emerged. While young firms focus on the initial phases in the invention process, large firms further develop these inventions and are responsible for the commercialization stage. This division of work is not feasible without a working patent system.