nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2007‒08‒18
six papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. Sequential innovations with unobservable follow-on investments By Stefano Comino; Fabio Manenti; Antonio Nicolò
  2. Copyright vs. Copyleft Licencing and Software Development By Massimo D'Antoni; Maria Alessandra Rossi
  3. Globalization of R&D and China – Empirical Observations and Policy Implications By Lundin, Nannan; Schwaag Serger, Sylvia
  4. IP Law and Antitrust Law Complementarity when Property Rights are Incomplete By Antonio Nicita; Matteo Rizzolli; Maria Alessandra Rossi
  5. The technical-industrial research institutes in the Norwegian innovation system By Lars Nerdrum; Magnus Gulbrandsen
  6. Why don’t Small and Medium Enterprises Innovate More: Creating a Cooperative Learning Environment at Individual, Firm and Regional Level By Gupta Anil K.

  1. By: Stefano Comino (Università di Trento,); Fabio Manenti (Università di Padova,); Antonio Nicolò (Università di Padova,)
    Abstract: We consider a cumulative innovation process in which a follow-on innovator invests in R&D activities that influence both the expected commercial value as well as the novelty of its innovation. When the second innovator investments are not servable,licensing of the first innovation never occurs efficiently, and, at the equilibrium, the follow-on innovator either underinvests or overinvests. We show that a large patent breadth may be harmful for the first innovator too, and therefore Pareto-dominated;as long as the undervinvestment problem becomes more pronounced, the value generated by the follow-on innovator reduces, and so do the licensing revenues of the first inventor.
    Keywords: sequential innovation, patents, licensing, intellectual property
    JEL: K3 L5 O3
    Date: 2007–05
  2. By: Massimo D'Antoni; Maria Alessandra Rossi
    Abstract: This article aims at clarifying the role played by licenses within the increasingly relevant Open Source Software (OSS) phenomenon. In particular, the article explores from a theoretical point of view the comparative properties of the two main categories of OSS license--copyleft and non-copyleft licenses--in terms of their ability to stimulate innovation and coordination of development efforts. In order to do so, the paper relies on an incomplete contracting model. The model shows that, in spite of the fact that copyleft licenses entail the enjoyment of a narrower set of rights by both licensors and licensees, they may be preferred to non-copyleft licenses when coordination of complementary investments in development is important. It thus provides a non-ideologically-based explanation for the puzzling evidence showing the dominance, in terms of diffusion, of copyleft licenses.
    Keywords: intellectual property rights, open source, copyright, copyleft, GPL license, incentives to innovation.
    JEL: L17 O34
    Date: 2007–08
  3. By: Lundin, Nannan (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Schwaag Serger, Sylvia (ITPS)
    Abstract: As one of the world’s largest recipients of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), China is emerging as a key global player in Research and Development (R&D). This rapid increase in R&D investment is mainly attributed to the effort of strengthening the indigenous innovation capacity of domestic actors and, to an increasing extent, to the process of globalization of R&D with multinational enterprises as key driving force. This paper provides a detailed overview of the relative importance of foreign R&D in China based on quantitative mapping in terms of R&D inputs, outputs and local linkages in R&D-related activities, combined with an in-depth description of the nature of foreign R&D activities. Our empirical observation suggests that the growing importance of China in the globalization of R&D is more than a ‘flash-in-the-pan’. On one hand, China is facing new challenges, but at the same time is attempting to seize the “window of opportunity” to compete for knowledge and human resources through structural adjustments and new policy initiatives. On the other hand, multinational enterprises from OECD countries are not only intensifying, but also diversifying their activities in a larger number of R&D intensive sectors in China. In such a rapid and dynamic development, China seems to emerge not only as an important source of R&D but also a key magnet of global R&D operations.
    Keywords: China; R&D; Globalization; Multinationals
    JEL: F23 O31 O32
    Date: 2007–08–09
  4. By: Antonio Nicita; Matteo Rizzolli; Maria Alessandra Rossi
    Abstract: This paper explores the interface between two important institutional pillars of market exchange – Intellectual Property (IP) law and Antitrust law – in light of a theory of property rights incompleteness. This theory interprets property as an incomplete bundle of both defined and undefined rights over actual and potential uses of given resources and defines externalities as joint claims over rival production uses of undefined entitlements, irrespective of whether the object of property rights has a tangible or intangible nature. The paper argues that traditional distinctions between physical property and IP based on attributes of tangibility, rivalry and excludability are misleading and bases on the substantial homogeneity of property rights and IPRs an argument supporting the complementarity between IP law and Antitrust law. Far from being an unjustified ex-post limitation to existing property rights, likely to undermine ex-ante incentives, Antitrust intervention represents one of the means by which incompletely specified property rights (both intellectual and tangible) might be redefined over time as externalities emerge.
    JEL: O34 L4
    Date: 2007–07
  5. By: Lars Nerdrum (Norwegian Institute for Studies in Research and Education - Centre for Innovation Research); Magnus Gulbrandsen (Norwegian Institute for Studies in Research and Education - Centre for Innovation Research)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the role of technical-industrial research institutes for industrial innovation in Norway. Using statistical data and a survey among firms, the paper shows that there are many different types of interaction between institutes and firms. In addition to R&D and technical services, the institutes are a significant source of skilled manpower for firms. We highlight three central roles for the institutes: they are a learning partner for industry, they help increase absorptive capacity, and they constitute a flexible repository in the innovation system by helping firms in peak periods and by reducing the pressure on universities through assisting in teaching and supervision.
    Date: 2007–08
  6. By: Gupta Anil K.
    Abstract: One would expect, that a large number of innovations linked to cycle, a common person’s means of transport, would be of great interest to the cycle industry. But, if the leaders of cycle industry do not evince much interest, there must be some serious reasons. It seems that if a company can manage growth with existing product range, why should it try to provide additional features or conveniences to the client. Indian small and medium scale industry appears to suffer from this limitation. I propose that cooperative model of learning is evolved to make each enterprise more competitive. Thus, cooperation in learning space and sometimes in market space may make Indian industry more competitive globally. There is a brief reference to the potential of intellectual property rights database as a source of learning. Why even in crops like psyllium, Indians have hardly five out of 878 patents is an issue that needs careful attention. Incidentally, psyllium is grown only in India.
    Date: 2007–08–08

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