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Nikolaus Thumm


Technische Universität Berlin
Chair of Economics
Secr. H 47
Straße des 17. Juni 135
D-10623 Berlin

Consulting times: by arrangement


  • Since April 2020 Associate with Technical University Berlin
  • 2014 – 2020: Senior Fellow, European Commission, Digital Economy Unit, Spain
  • 2013 – 2014: Senior Visiting Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich
  • 2008 – 2013: Chief Economist, European Patent Office, Munich
  • 2002 – 2008: Senior Economic Counsellor, Swiss Federation, Switzerland
  • 1998 – 2002: Policy Analyst, Joint Research Centre, Spain
  • 1995 – 1998: Research Fellow and Lecturer, Europa Kolleg Hamburg & European University Institute, Florence
  • since 1999: Doctorate in Economics (Dr. rer pol.), Hamburg
  • since 1995: M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering, Hamburg & European Master in Law and Economics,   Stockholm

Research Interests

  • Digital transformation
  •  Artificial intelligence
  • Standardization
  • Standard essential patents & FRAND licensing
  • Counterfeiting and illicit trade


Franzoni, C., Scellato G., Thumm, N. et al (June 2020): Counterfeiting in digital technologies: an empirical analysis of the economic performance and innovative activities of affected companies, Research Policy 49(5):103959, DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2020.103959.

Thumm, N. (2021) in: Schweizer IP-Handbuch: Intellectual Property - Konzepte, Checklisten und Musterdokumente für die Praxis (Vertrags- und Formularhandbücher), Einführendes Kapitel 'Übersicht der ökonomischen Grundlagen' Helbing Lichtenhahn Verlag, Weinmann, Münch, Herren (Ed.).

Thumm, N. (editor), Blind, K., Böhm, M., (2019): The Relationship Between Open Source Software and Standard Setting, JRC Science for Policy Report EUR 29867 EN.

Thumm, N., Comino, S., Manenti F. (2019): The Role of Patents in Information and Communication Technologies. A Survey of the Literature, Journal of Economic Surveys; Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 404–430.

Thumm, N. (editor), Baron, J., Contreras, J., Husovev, M., Larouche, P. (2019): Making the Rules; The Governance of Standard Development Organizations and their Policies on Intellectual Property Rights, JRC Science for Policy Report EUR 29655 EN.

Thumm, N., Butticè, V., Caviggioli, F., Franzoni, C., Scellato, G., (2018) Impact of counterfeiting on the performance of digital technology companies; Digital Economy Working Paper 2018-03; JRC Technical Reports.

Thumm, N., (2018): The good, the bad and the ugly – The future of patent assertion entities in Europe, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management Journal, Volume 30, Issue 9, pp. 1046-1056.

Baron, J., Pentheroudakis, C., Thumm, N. (editor) (2017): Licensing Terms of Standard Essential Patents, A Comprehensive Analysis of Cases, European Commission, JRC Science for Policy Report.

Thumm, N., Baron, J., Pentheroudakis, C.: FRAND licensing in theory and in practice: proposal for a common framework, Competition Policy International, September 2016, pp.14-20.

Thumm, N., Gabison, G., Europe Economics (2016): Patent Assertion Entities in Europe; Their impact on innovation and knowledge transfer in ICT markets. European Commission, JRC Science for Policy Report.

Comino, S., Manenti, F., Thumm, N. (editor) (2015) Intellectual Property and Innovation in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), European Commission Science and Policy Report.

Pentheroudakis, C., Thumm, N. (editor) (2015) Innovation in the Europeans Digital Single Market: The Role of Patents, European Commission Science and Policy Report.

Méniére, Y., Thumm, N. (editor) (2015) Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) Licensing Terms – Research Analysis of a Controversial Concept, European Commission Science and Policy Report.

European Commission, Thumm, N. (chairman) (2015) Report of the Expert Group on Patent Aggregation.

Wajsman, N., Thumm, N., et.al, EPO/OHIM report (2013): Intellectual property rights intensive industries: contribution to economic performance and employment in the European Union.

Thumm, N. (2013) 'Übersicht der ökonomischen Grundlagen' in: Schweizer IP-Handbuch/Helbing Lichtenhahn Verlag (Chapter in the new Swiss IP Handbook) pp 27-41.

Veefkind V., Hurtado-Albir J., Angelucci S., Karachalios K., Thumm, N. (2012) A new EPO classification scheme for climate change mitigation technologies, World Patent Information Volume 34, Issue 2, Pages 106-111.

Köhler, F., Blind, K., Thumm, N. (2012): 'Filing behaviour regarding essential patents in industry standards', Research Policy Volume 41, Issue 1, February 2012, Pages 216-225.

Thumm, N, (2012) United Nations Knowledge-Based Development Newsletter Entrepreneurship - Financing - Innovation - Intellectual Property, issue 1, November 2012.

European Commission expert group on IPR valorisation (2012) 'Options for an EU instrument for patent valorisation'.

Editors: K. Karachalios, N. Thumm (2010) 'Patents and clean energy: bridging the gap between evidence and policy', UNEP, EPO, ICTSD report.

Thumm, N (2007) ‘Statutory research exemptions in pharmaceutical intellectual property rights’ in: Healthy IPRs, a forward look at pharmaceutical intellectual property, Stockholm Network.

Blind, K., Thumm, N. (2006) ‘Intellectual Property Protection and Standardisation’, in: Information Technology Standards and Standardization Research, Kai Jakobs (ed.) London, Melbourne, Singapore, pp. 166-181.

Thumm, N. (2006) ‘Reasonable patent protection with a statutory research exemption’ IPR Helpdesk Bulletin, No 29 October 2006 pp. 6-7.

Thumm, N. (2006) ‘Les brevets: incitation ou frein à la recherche?’ La Vie économique 7/8-2006, pp. 18-23.

Thumm, N. (2006) ‘Research Use of Patent Inventions: Experiences of the Swiss Patent Law Revision’, Know IP – Stockholm Network Monthly Bulletin on IPRS, Vol.2: Issue.6, July 2006, pp. 7-9.

Thumm, N. (2005) ‘Patents for genetic inventions: a tool to promote technological advance or a limitation to upstream inventions’, Technovation, The International Journal of Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Vol 25/12 pp. 1410-1417.

Thumm, N. (2005) ‘Blocking Patents and their Effects on Scientific Research: Evidence from the Biotechnology Industry’ IPR Helpdesk Bulletin, No 23 September-October 2005, pp. 2-3.

Blind, K., Thumm, N. (2004) ‘Interaction between patenting and standardisation strategies: empirical evidence and policy implications’, Research Policy, 33 December, pp. 1583-1598.

Thumm, N. (2004) ‘Strategic Patenting in Biotechnology’, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, Vol. 16. No 4 December, pp. 529-538.

Thumm, N. (2004) ‘Motives for patenting biotechnological inventions; an empirical investigation in Switzerland’; International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management, Vol. 4, No.3, pp. 275-285.

Blind, K., Thumm, N. (2004) ‘Intellectual Property Protection and Standardisation’, Journal of IT Standards & Standardization Research, 2(2), July-Sept, pp. 61-76.

Thumm, N. (2004) ‘Asking the Swiss Biotech Industry about Patenting’ Bio World 3, pp. 22-23.

Addor F., Thumm N., Grazioli A. (2004) ‘Geografitschni sasnatschenaia . Vajlivi instrument dlia rosvitki ekonomiki’, Naukovo-praktitschni Journal , Intelektualia Vlasnict (Ukraine), Scientific-Practical Journal, Intellectual Property, Sept. pp. 37-43.

Blind, K., Thumm, N., Iversen, E., Hossain, K. van Reekum, R., Rixius, B., Bierhals, R., Sillwood, J. (2004) ‘Interaction between Standardisation and Intellectual Property Rights’, European Commission Technical Report EUR 21074 EN.

Importations parallèles et droit des brevets Epuisement régional, Rapport du Conseil fédéral Suisse, du 3 décembre 2004 en réponse au postulat 03.3423 de la CERCN, ainsi qu’aux postulats 04.3164 et 04.3197.

Addor, F., Thumm, N., Grazioli, A. (2003) ‘Geographical Indications: Important Issues for Industrialized and Developing Countries’, The IPTS Report, No. 74, May, pp. 24-31.

Thumm, N. (2003) ‘Research and Patenting in Biotechnology; A Survey in Switzerland’, Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property.

Thumm, N., Tübcke, A. (2002) ‘Knowledge Access and Ownership in the Knowledge-Driven Society’, The IPTS Report, No. 66, July, pp. 34-38.

Ibarreta, D. Thumm, N. (2002) ‘Ethical Aspects of Biotechnological Patenting Revisited’, The IPTS Report, No. 65, June, pp. 17-23.

Thumm, N. (2002) ‘Innovation and Patent Protection in Pre-Accession Countries’, The IPTS Report, No. 61, February, pp. 19-28.

Thumm, N. (2002) ‘Europe's construction of a patent system for biotechnological inventions: An assessment of industry views’, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 69, December pp. 917-928.

Steg, H., Thumm, N. (2001) ‘Single Market Regulation and Innovation in Europe's Medical Devices Industry’, International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, 17:3, pp. 421-432.

Brandsma, Thumm, Tübke (2001) ‘Economic Transformation’, Report EUR 20116 EN, Enlargement Futures Report Series.

Thumm, N. (2001) ‘Management of Intellectual Property Rights in European Biotechnology Firms’, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Special Issue “Technology Policy and Innovation for the Globalized Learning Economy” Volume 67, July, pp. 259-272.

Thumm, N. (2000) ‘Intellectual Property Rights. National Systems and Harmonisation in Europe’, Springer, Contributions to Economics, New York, Heidelberg.

Thumm, N. (ed.) (2000) 'The Impact of Single Market Regulation on Innovation: Regulatory Reform and Experiences of Firms in the Medical Devices Industry', European Commission Technical Report EUR 19734 EN.

Thumm, N. (2000) ‘Breveter pour protéger: Un bilan s’impose’, Technologies Internationales No 67, Septembre, pp. 39-44.

Thumm, N. (2000) ‘Patenting as a Protection Tool: A Reassessment’, The IPTS Report, No. 43 April, pp. 26-31.

Mogensen, J., Thumm, N.: Outsourcing of Business Services, The IPTS Report, No. 49, November 2000, pp 32-39.

Thumm, N. (1999) ‘The Role of Intellectual Property Rights for the Process of Transition in Central and Eastern European Countries’, OSTEUROPA-WIRTSCHAFT, 44. Jhg., 3, pp. 324-341

Thumm, N. (1999) ‘Patent protection for biotechnological inventions: incentive for European biotech innovators’, The IPTS Report, No. 33 April, pp. 27-33.

European Commission (1999): ETAN Working Paper, Strategic Dimensions of Intellectual Property Rights in the Context of Science and Technology Policy.

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Dr. Nikolaus Thumm
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