The PatVal-EU Project


PatVal-EU I

PatVal-EU is a research project conducted between 2001-2003 by 6 research units in 6 countries (France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, UK)

It created a database from a survey of a sample of EPO patents with priority date 1993-1997

The questionnaire was sent to the first inventor listed in the patent (if not available: to any other inventor)

It asked information about the patent and the inventor not available from the patent document, or from other sources

We mailed 27,531 questionnaires and received 9,216 questionnaires covering 9017 patents

3,346 were invented in Germany, 1,486 in France, 1,542 in the UK, 1,250 in Italy, 1,124 in the Netherlands, and 269 in Spain

This reflectes the distribution of patents across these countries in the period considered

We conducted pilot tests

We controlled for sample biases

The Project was funded by the DG Science & Technology of the European Commission (Contract N. HPV2-CT-2001-00013)

We produced a collective paper signed by the 20 researchers involved in the project describing the methodology of the survey and summarizing the data.

See Giuri, P., Mariani, M. et al., 2007, "Inventors and Invention Processes in Europe. Results from the PatVal-EU Survey", Research Policy, Vol. 36 (8), pp.1107-1127.

More details in the Final PatVal-EU Report and its Annex I and Annex II

Later we added patents surveyed from Denmark and Hungary  


PatVal-EU II

We completed a second PatVal-EU survey

Please check the link to our project for details

The new survey was conducted in 2009-11 and covers both applied and granted EPO patents with priority date 2003-2005

It covers inventors located in 20 European countries (DE, FR, UK, AT, BE, CH, DK, ES, FI, IT, NL, SE, CZ, GR, HU, IE, LU, NO, PL, SI), Israel, the U.S., and Japan

The questionnaire was offered in 10 languages and it was sent out to a sample of 124,134 inventors. Fifty percent of these inventors were from Europe and Israel, 13% from Japan, and 37% from the U.S. We received 22,557 responses, yielding a corrected  response rate of 22.2%.

For each patent document with more than one inventor, we selected randomly the addressee of the survey, and sent her an invitation letter asking to fill out an online questionnaire

We ensured that the sample was not subject to relevant biases. Please check the Final PatVa-EU II Report for details about the methodology of the survey and other matters

The project was funded by the DG Research and Innovation under the 7th Framework Program (

We are completing the cleaning up of the data and the link with other databases about firms and patents