nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2006‒12‒22
eight papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. Modeling the Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office By Harhoff, Dietmar; Wagner, Stefan
  2. Everything you Always Wanted to Know About Inventors (But Never Asked): Evidence from the PatVal-EU Survey By Harhoff, Dietmar; Hoisl, Karin
  3. Strategic Patenting and Software Innovation By Michael Noel; Mark Schankerman
  4. Business Method Patents in Europe and their Strategic Use - Evidence from Franking Device Manufacturers By Wagner, Stefan
  5. Does Mobility Increase the Productivity of Inventors? New Evidence from a Quasi-Experimental Design By Hoisl, Karin
  6. Growth and Intellectual Property By Michele Boldrin; David K. Levine
  7. Make-or-Buy Decisions in Patent Related Services By Wagner, Stefan
  8. Co-Opetition and Prelaunch in Standard-Setting for Developing Technologies By Tobias Kretschmer; Katrin Muehlfeld

  1. By: Harhoff, Dietmar; Wagner, Stefan
    Abstract: We analyze the duration of the patent examination process at the European Patent Office (EPO). Our data contain information related to the patents economic and technical relevance, EPO capacity and workload as well as novel citation measures which are derived from the EPOs search reports. In our multivariate analysis we estimate competing risk specifications in order to characterize differences in the processes leading to a withdrawal of the application by the applicant, a refusal of the patent grant by the examiner or an actual patent grant. Highly cited applications are approved faster by the EPO than less important ones, but they are also withdrawn less quickly by the applicant. The process duration increases for all outcomes with the applications complexity, originality, number of references (backward citations) in the search report and with the EPOs workload at the filing date. Endogenous applicant behavior becomes apparent in other results: more controversial claims lead to slower grants, but faster withdrawals, while relatively well-documented applications (identified by a high share of applicant references appearing in the search report) are approved faster and take longer to be withdrawn.
    Keywords: patents; patent examination; survival analysis; patent citations; European Patent Office
    JEL: C15 C41 D73
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Harhoff, Dietmar; Hoisl, Karin
    Abstract: Based on a survey of the inventors of 9,017 European patented inventions, this paper provides new information about the characteristics of European inventors, the sources of their knowledge, the importance of formal and informal collaborations, the motivations to invent, and the actual use and economic value of the patents.
    Keywords: inventor; patent; incentives; innovation; patent system; patent value
    JEL: J24 O31 O34
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Michael Noel; Mark Schankerman
    Abstract: Strategic patenting is widely believed to raise the costs of innovating, especially in industriescharacterised by cumulative innovation. This paper studies the effects of strategic patentingon R&D, patenting and market value in the computer software industry. We focus on two keyaspects: patent portfolio size which affects bargaining power in patent disputes, and thefragmentation of patent rights (.patent thickets.) which increases the transaction costs ofenforcement. We develop a model that incorporates both effects, together with R&Dspillovers. Using panel data for the period 1980-99, we find evidence that both strategicpatenting and R&D spillovers strongly affect innovation and market value of software firms.
    Keywords: patents, anti-commons, patent thickets, R&D spillovers, market value
    JEL: L43 L86 O31 O32 O33 O34 O38
    Date: 2006–08
  4. By: Wagner, Stefan
    Abstract: There has been a wide-spread misconception based on the imprecise wording of Art. 52 of the European Patent Convention (EPC) that the protection of business methods by patents is prohibited in Europe. This paper investigates the legal framework set by patent laws with respect to the patentability of business methods, contrasting the situation in lege in Europe and the situation in the US. It is shown that in praxi business methods have never been excluded from patentability in Europe. In the empirical part of the paper, 1,901 European patent applications relating to business methods are identified and major patent indicators are computed. Further, a case study from the franking device industry which is characterized by strong competition for intellectual property rights is conducted. It contains evidence for the strategic use of business method patents leading to opposition rates against granted patents of 44%.
    Keywords: business method patents; European Patent Office
    JEL: L39 O34
    Date: 2006
  5. By: Hoisl, Karin
    Abstract: Although labor mobility has been recognized as a key mechanism to transfer tacit knowledge, prior research on inventors has so far neglected to address the question of the consequence of a move on inventive performance. This paper improves on the current R&D literature by presenting a quasi-experimental approach to explore the effect of a specific move of an inventor on his performance. The quasi-experiment provides a favorable setting to test this relationship since it allows interpreting changes of inventive performance causal to a particular move. Results reveal that in the post-move period inventors produce more patentable innovations that are characterized by a higher grant rate and by higher value. However, the gains from movement seem to dissipate over time. Data for the analysis was derived from a survey of German inventors (N = 3,049).
    Keywords: Inventor; Productivity; Mobility; Quasi Experiment; Patent
    JEL: O34 O32 J M54
    Date: 2006
  6. By: Michele Boldrin; David K. Levine
    Abstract: Intellectual property (IP) protection involves a trade-off between the undesirability of monopoly and the desirable encouragement of creation and innovation. Optimal policy depends on the quantitative strength of these two forces. We give a quantitative assessment of current IP policies. We focus particularly on the scale of the market, showing that as it increases, due either to growth or to the expansion of trade, IP protection should be reduced.
    JEL: A0 A1 A10 D0 D00 D02
    Date: 2006–12
  7. By: Wagner, Stefan
    Abstract: Among the most prominent theoretical frameworks dealing with the economic underlyings of firms make-or-buy decisions are Transaction Cost Economics (TCE) and the Resourced Based View (RBV). Relying on panel data covering 107 European firms over eight years I test predictions from both TCE and RBV with regard to the outsourcing of patent related services simultaneously. Modelling the share of outsourced patent applications in a Negative Binomial Panel Regression Model I find joint explanatory power of both approaches. My findings support previous literature arguing for an integration of TCE and RBV to a comprehensive theoretical framework of firms make-or-buy decisions.
    Keywords: outsourcing; patent attorney; make-or-buy; negative binomial panel regression
    JEL: L24 L22
    Date: 2006
  8. By: Tobias Kretschmer; Katrin Muehlfeld
    Abstract: Firms faced with the decision of whether to standardize or not prior to introducing a newnetwork technology face a tradeoff: Compatibility improves the technology's chances ofconsumer acceptance, but it also means having to share the resulting profits with othersponsors of the standard. In this paper, we show that even prior to market introduction of anew technology, the timing of decisions is important and that firms have to weigh up thecooperative and competitive elements of pre-market choices. We also show that the option toprecommit to a technology before it is fully developed (as has been the case with theCompact Disc) can be profitable for network technologies.
    Keywords: Standardization, compact disc, preemption, war-of- attrition
    JEL: L63 O32
    Date: 2006–08

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