nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2007‒01‒02
six papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. Claiming More: The Increased Voluminosity of Patent Applications and its Determinants By Guellec, Dominique; van Pottelsberghe, Bruno; van Zeebroeck, Nicolas
  2. When Small is Beautiful: Measuring the Evolution and Consequences of the Voluminosity of Patent Applications at the EPO By Archontopoulos, Eugenio; Guellec, Dominique; Stevnsborg, Niels; van Pottelsberghe, Bruno; van Zeebroeck, Nicolas
  3. State-Dependent Intellectual Property Rights Policy By Daron Acemoglu; Ufuk Akcigit
  4. Licensing Complementary Patents and Vertical Integration By Schmidt, Klaus M.
  5. Intellectual Property conventions and Indian Law By Mahima Puri; Anjali Varma
  6. The International Migration of Knowledge Workers: When Is Brain Drain Beneficial? By Peter Kuhn; Carol McAusland

  1. By: Guellec, Dominique; van Pottelsberghe, Bruno; van Zeebroeck, Nicolas
    Abstract: The joint increase in the number and size of patents filed around the world puts the patent system under pressure. This paper analyses the sources of this surge in number of claims and pages of patent applications at the EPO. Four hypotheses are scrutinized: the diffusion of national drafting practices, the increasing complexity of inventions, the emergence of new sectors, and new patenting strategies. The results show that the increasing voluminosity is explained by all these hypotheses and suggest that the diffusion of the US model through the PCT is one of the major factors driving the size of EPO patent applications.
    Keywords: claim drafting; IP strategy; patent applications; patent systems; patent voluminosity
    JEL: O31 O34 O50
    Date: 2006–12
  2. By: Archontopoulos, Eugenio; Guellec, Dominique; Stevnsborg, Niels; van Pottelsberghe, Bruno; van Zeebroeck, Nicolas
    Abstract: The joint increase in the number and size of patents filed around the world puts patent systems under pressure. This paper addresses issues in measuring the voluminosity of patent applications and highlights patterns in its evolution. The results - based on a 2 million EPO applications database - show that the average size of applications has doubled over the past 20 years and that it is mainly associated with PCT applications having a US priority. Voluminosity indicators are also influenced by geographical origins and technological areas and strongly impact the workload of the EPO, justifying the need for regulatory and policy actions.
    Keywords: patent applications; patent drafting; patent statistics; patent systems; patent voluminosity; workload
    JEL: O31 O34 O50
    Date: 2006–12
  3. By: Daron Acemoglu; Ufuk Akcigit
    Abstract: What form of intellectual property rights (IPR) policy contributes to economic growth? Should technological followers be able to license the products of technological leaders? Should a company with a large technological lead receive the same IPR protection as a company with a more limited lead? We develop a general equilibrium framework to investigate these questions. The economy consists of many industries and firms engaged in cumulative (step-by-step) innovation. IPR policy regulates whether followers in an industry can copy the technology of the leader and also how much they have to pay to license past innovations. With full patent protection, followers can catch up to the leader in their industry either by making the same innovation(s) themselves or by making some pre-specified payments to the technological leaders. We prove the existence of a steady-state equilibrium and characterize some of its properties. We then quantitatively investigate the implications of different types of IPR policy on the equilibrium growth rate. The two major results of this exercise are as follows. First, the growth rate in the standard models used in the (growth) literature can be improved significantly by introducing a simple form of licensing. Second, we show that full patent protection is not optimal from the viewpoint of maximizing the growth rate of the economy and that the growth-maximizing policy involves state-dependent IPR protection, providing greater protection to technological leaders that are further ahead than those that are close to their followers. This form of the growth-maximizing policy is a result of the "trickle-down" effect, which implies that providing greater protection to firms that are further ahead of their followers than a certain threshold increases the R&D incentives also for all technological leaders that are less advanced than this threshold.
    JEL: L16 O31 O34 O41
    Date: 2006–12
  4. By: Schmidt, Klaus M.
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the pricing incentives of IP holders and compare the equilibrium royalty rates charged by vertically integrated IP holders with those of non- integrated IP holders. We show that under many circumstances non-integrated companies are likely to charge lower royalties than their vertically integrated counterparts. The results of this paper are of special relevance for the analysis of competition in CDMA and WCDMA technology licensing, where some IP holders are not vertically integrated into handset and infrastructure manufacturing, while others are.
    Keywords: complementary patents; IP rights; licensing; vertical integration
    JEL: D43 L15 L41
    Date: 2006–12
  5. By: Mahima Puri (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations); Anjali Varma (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations)
    Date: 2005–07
  6. By: Peter Kuhn (University of California, Santa Barbara and IZA Bonn); Carol McAusland (University of Maryland)
    Abstract: We consider the welfare effects of the emigration of workers who produce a public good (knowledge). We distinguish between the knowledge diversion and knowledge creation effects of such emigration, and show that the remaining residents of a country can gain from emigration, even when tastes for knowledge goods exhibit a kind of ‘home bias’. In contrast to existing models of beneficial brain drain (BBD), our results do not require agglomeration economies, education-related externalities, remittances, return migration, or an emigration "lottery". Instead, they are driven purely by the public nature of knowledge goods, combined with differences in market size that induce greater knowledge creation by emigrants abroad than at home. BBD is even more likely in the presence of weak sending-country intellectual property rights (IPRs), or when source country IPR policy is endogenized.
    Keywords: brain drain, international migration, international factor mobility, knowledge workers, intellectual property rights
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2006–12

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