nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2007‒10‒06
eight papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. Industrial Property Institutions, Patenting, and Technology Investment in Spain and Mexico, c. 1820-1914. By Beatty, Edward; Saiz, J. Patricio
  2. Business method patents for U.S. financial services By Robert M. Hunt
  3. The Future of Key Actors in the European Research Area By Madeleine Akrich; Riel Miller
  4. Flexibility in the implementation of intellectual property rights in agricultural biotechnology By Trommetter, M.
  5. Per un Pugno di Dollari: A first Look at the Price Elasticity of Patents By de Rassenfosse, Gaetan; van Pottelsberghe, Bruno
  6. Intellectual property rights and standard setting in financial services: the case of the Single European Payments Area By Robert M. Hunt; Samuli Simojoki; Tuomas Takalo
  7. Teaching Digital Piracy By Michael R. Ward
  8. The Productivity Effects of Internal and External R&D: Evidence From a Dynamic Panel Data Model By Lokshin, Boris; Belderbos, René; Carree, Martin

  1. By: Beatty, Edward (University of Notre Dame); Saiz, J. Patricio (Departamento de Análisis Económico (Teoría e Historia Económica). Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
    Abstract: This paper explores the nature and implications of nineteenth century patent law in two late-industrializing countries: Spain and Mexico. Both inherited earlier ancien regime monopoly practices, both adopted aspects of modern, codified patent systems in the early nineteenth century, and both sought primarily to encourage innovation and especially the introduction of foreign techniques. Mexico, however, abandoned this orientation in 1890 in favor of an emphasis on supporting inventive activity while Spain retained this orientation until recently. After presenting an overview of the conceptual and historical issues regarding comparative patent systems in section one; section two compares the nature of the Spanish and Mexican systems in the nineteenth century; while sections three and four examine the implications of patent law: its impact on trends in patenting behavior and —more tentatively— its probable consequences for investment in technological change.
    Keywords: Spain and Mexico Economic History; Patents; Technological Change; Technology Transfer.
    JEL: N40 N43 N46 O31 O33 O34
    Date: 2007–01
  2. By: Robert M. Hunt
    Abstract: Nearly a decade after the Federal Circuit decision in State Street, patents on computer-implemented methods of doing business have become commonplace. To date, there is little evidence of any effect on the rate of innovation or R&D among firms in financial services. Indeed, measuring such effects presents difficult problems for researchers. We do know that some of these patents are successfully licensed and others are the subject of ongoing litigation. Looking ahead, a number of recent Supreme Court decisions are likely to have a significant effect on how business method patents are enforced. Congress is also considering significant reforms to U.S. patent law.
    Keywords: Patents ; Financial services industry
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Madeleine Akrich (CSI - Centre de sociologie de l'innovation - [CNRS : UMR7120] - [Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris]); Riel Miller (DTI - Danish Technology Institute - [Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation])
    Abstract: This text is the synthesis report based on the work of the High Level Expert Group on the Future of <br />Research Actors (RA) in the European Research Area (ERA). This group was set up by the Technology Foresight Group, DG Research, European Commision. Many of the conclusions of this synthesis report are fully consistent with the directions of <br />current research policies. The work of the group highlights the importance of <br />efforts, already well underway, to reinforce the functioning of the ERA as an integrated base <br />that overcomes a wide range of geographic, institutional and disciplinary barriers to the both <br />the competition and sharing of knowledge. Knitting together the different European research <br />actors into a more transparent and diversified whole would seem to be one of the best ways <br />to create a stronger platform for knowledge creation and diffusion. A less anticipated <br />conclusion, and less part of the existing consensus, is that simply pursuing the ambition of <br />multiplying the number of effective research platforms in Europe may miss a key part of <br />tomorrow's research agenda. The in-depth expert papers on the eight different research <br />actors of the ERA, the insights arising from the synthesis developed in this paper, and the <br />analytical results of a rare scenario pooling exercise, all point very clearly to the risk that <br />current policies are excessively technology centric and may miss crucial emerging attributes <br />of research and research actors in the knowledge society. Thus, over and above the value- <br />added for assessing the direction and implementation of current approaches to improving the <br />production and use of research in Europe, this report recommends new policies aimed at <br />accelerating the development of emergent forms and sources of research. The policy <br />message is that Europe must move beyond industrial-era challenges to embrace those of the <br />knowledge society. <br />Further opening, expanding and integrating the European Research Area requires: <br />1) Policies that put into practice expanded criteria for designing and funding research <br />programmes for the European Research Area to include user-centred technological, <br />organisational and social innovation. <br />2) Policies that initiate experiments that validate (quality/trust/transparency) new forms and <br />producers (including individual independent researchers) of knowledge. <br />3) Policies, both budgetary and regulatory, that create and facilitate both new collaborative <br />environments for research, including user-centred research, and new governance <br />processes.<br />4) Policies to enhance the capacity of policy makers (including at the regional level) to <br />recognise and facilitate new forms of research and particularly new approaches to the <br />governance of research processes. <br />5) Policies to abolish national borders for researchers and for students both within Europe <br />and outside Europe. <br />6) Policies to strengthen the autonomy of universities, including areas so far strictly <br />controlled by most governments such as a university's strategic profile and selection of <br />specialisations. <br />7) Further research is required regarding the relationship between the changing nature of <br />research and intellectual property rights (IPR). <br />8) Further research is required regarding the functional division of labour amongst different <br />research actors in the context of the emerging “open innovation model”. <br />9) Further research is required in order to describe and analyse the contribution of civil <br />society to research and innovation. <br />10) Further research is required on how to establish trust in highly complex and diversified <br />knowledge societies. <br />11) Further research is required to define and measure new forms of innovation, particularly <br />with respect to the innovation related research occurring in the service sector, SMEs and <br />the community (social innovation) that point towards new models of innovation.
    Date: 2007
  4. By: Trommetter, M.
    Abstract: In this paper I discuss the fact that economists define optimal IP rights as a continuum of options in three dimensions: height, breadth and length. At the operational level we see the impossibility of multiplying rights indefinitely (due to prohibitive transaction costs), as well as the use of a limited number of IP tools which have led to the implementation of flexibilities. These flexibilities are designed to limit certain perverse effects of rights ill-adjusted to the characteristics of some economic sectors (agricultural biotechnologies, pharmacy, etc.). In this context, I analyse how these flexibilities are implemented in TRIPS and TRIPS+ agreements and I study the consequences for Developing Countries.
    JEL: K11 O31 L65
    Date: 2007
  5. By: de Rassenfosse, Gaetan; van Pottelsberghe, Bruno
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the role of patent filing fees requested by the member states of the European Patent Convention (EPC). We provide a first empirical evidence showing that the fee elasticity of the demand for priority applications is negative and significant. Given the strong variation in absolute fees and in fees per capita across countries, this result witnesses a suboptimal treatment of inventors across European countries and suggests that fees should be considered as an integral part of an IP policy, especially in the current context of worrying backlogs. In addition, we show that the transfer rate of domestic priority filings to the EPO increases with the duration of membership to the EPO and the GDP per capita of a country, suggesting that member states experience a learning curve within the EPC. The high heterogeneity in the transfer rates casts some doubts on the practice that consists in relying on filings at the EPO or at the USPTO to assess innovative performance of countries.
    Keywords: fees; patent filing; price elasticity
    JEL: O30 O31 O38 O57
    Date: 2007–09
  6. By: Robert M. Hunt; Samuli Simojoki; Tuomas Takalo
    Abstract: For many reasons, payment systems are subject to strong network effects; one of those is the necessity of interoperability among participants. This is often accomplished via standard-setting organizations. The goal of the Single European Payments Area (SEPA) is to establish modern cross-boarder consumer payment systems for Europe. This too will require a standard-setting arrangement. But patents are also becoming an important feature of electronic payment systems and thus standard setting under SEPA should incorporate a policy to address the ownership and licensing of essential intellectual property. Using examples from the experience of European mobile telephony and financial patenting in the United States, the authors argue that the lack of a well-developed IP policy creates significant risks for participants in the new SEPA payment systems.
    Keywords: Intellectual property
    Date: 2007
  7. By: Michael R. Ward (Department of Economics, University of Texas at Arlington)
    Abstract: US education policy encourages the use of computers and the Internet at both the college and high school levels. As a consequence, students have had better access to technologies to illicitly share copyrighted music, causing a decline in sales from the traditional music store retail channel. Using a panel of counties over the 1994-2004 period, I find evidence that the number of music stores fell when high schools received subsidies for Internet connections and it fell faster where college enrollment was higher. This intervention in education policy could have contributed greatly to the decline in the music industry.
    Keywords: Music, Internet, Education, Illicit Behavior
    JEL: L82 O34 H3
    Date: 2007–07
  8. By: Lokshin, Boris (UNU-MERIT); Belderbos, René (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Eindhoven University of Technology); Carree, Martin (University of Maastricht)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of internal and external R&D on labor productivity in a 6-year panel of Dutch manufacturing firms. We apply a dynamic linear panel data model that allows for decreasing or increasing returns to scale in internal and external R&D and for economies of scope. We find complementarity between internal and external R&D, with a positive impact of external R&D only evident in case of sufficient internal R&D. These findings confirm the role of internal R&D in enhancing absorptive capacity and hence the effective utilization of external knowledge. The scope economies due the combination of internal and external R&D are accentuated by decreasing results to scale at high levels of internal and external R&D. The analysis indicates that on average productivity grows by increasing the share of external R&D in total R&D.
    Keywords: R&D, Innovation, Complementarity, Panel Data
    JEL: O32 O33 D24
    Date: 2007

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