The impact of economic crisis on patent activity

What happens to patent activity in economic crisis is something that all of us are wondering particularly during these unprecedented times. The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is the greatest challenge we are facing since World War Two. Cases are rising daily and lockdowns of countries is a reality we are currently facing. The most important question is if the current outbreak will have a long-term impact on the free movement of people and goods. And how will the current economic crisis impact innovation?

Since the start of the new millennium, the number of patents filed in the world has increased every year expect in two specific years, 2002 and 2009 when the number of patents filed decreased with 1% and 4%. During these times we faced the Dot-Com crash in 2001 and the Global Financial crisis in 2008. Another interesting remark is that during the SARS outbreak in 2003 (severe acute respiratory syndrome) caused by SARS-CoV where 8000 people died there was no impact at all on the patent activity.

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