nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2008‒03‒25
seven papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. Inventive Productivity and Patent Quality: Evidence from Italian Inventors By Schettino, Francesco; Sterlacchini, Alessandro; Venturini, Francesco
  2. The Impact of Medicare Part D on Pharmaceutical R&D By Margaret E. Blume-Kohout; Neeraj Sood
  3. Sharing science, building bridges, and enhancing impact: Public-Private Partnerships in the CGIAR By Spielman,David J.; Hartwich,Frank; von Grebmer, Klaus
  4. R&D and market structure in a horizontal differentiation framework By Davide Fantino
  5. Patent, Inequality and Innovation-Driven Growth By Hatipoglu, Ozan
  6. Firms on SourceForge By Eilhard, Jan
  7. Is Medicine an Ivory Tower? Induced Innovation, Technological Opportunity, and For-Profit vs. Non-Profit Innovation By Jay Bhattacharya; Mikko Packalen

  1. By: Schettino, Francesco; Sterlacchini, Alessandro; Venturini, Francesco
    Abstract: By considering a regional sample of Italian inventors, this paper explores the factors behind the different individual performances in terms of number and quality of patents. Our reference population is composed of 570 inventors residing in the Marche region who, over the period 1991-2005, have contributed to 743 patent applications filed at the European Patent Office. Looking at the number of patents per inventor, a Lotka’s distribution emerges suggesting that also for geographical areas inventive activities are highly concentrated in a few key inventors. To examine whether both the inventive productivity and quality are affected by individual and firm characteristics, we use the outcomes of a survey on 106 inventors. We find that the patent productivity is not influenced by individual characteristics but it is higher for the inventors working in teams and employed in large firms with greater patent portfolios. With respect to patent value we employ a composite index in which forward citations, claims and patent families are taken into account. Measured in this way, patent quality is significantly associated, along with the presence of an inventive team, with a set of individual features such as the inventors’ experience and level of education. This suggests that inventions coming from individuals working in small firms or independently can be as valuable as those generated by inventors occupied in larger companies.
    Keywords: Inventors; Inventive productivity; Patent quality.
    JEL: O34 O31
    Date: 2008–03–17
  2. By: Margaret E. Blume-Kohout; Neeraj Sood
    Abstract: Recent evidence suggests that Medicare Part D has increased prescription drug use among the elderly, and earlier studies have indicated that increasing market size induces pharmaceutical innovation. This paper assesses the impact of Medicare Part D on pharmaceutical research and development (R&D), using time-series data on the number of drugs in preclinical and clinical development by therapeutic class. We demonstrate that the passage of Medicare Part D was associated with significant increases in pharmaceutical R&D, especially for classes with high elderly market share.
    JEL: H51 I18 O30
    Date: 2008–03
  3. By: Spielman,David J.; Hartwich,Frank; von Grebmer, Klaus
    Abstract: "This study, which examines the role of public–private partnerships in international agricultural research, is intended to provide policymakers, research managers, and business decisionmakers with an understanding of how such partnerships operate and how they potentially contribute to food security and poverty reduction in developing countries. The study examines public–private partnerships in light of persistent market failure, institutional constraints, and systemic weaknesses, which impede the exchange of potentially pro-poor knowledge and technology. The study focuses on three key issues: whether public–private partnerships contribute to reducing the cost of research, whether they add value to research by facilitating innovation, and whether they enhance the impact of research on smallholders and other marginalized groups in developing-country agriculture. The study examines 75 projects undertaken by the research centers and programs of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in partnership with various types of private firms. Data and information were obtained through document analysis, semi-structured interviews with key informants, and an email survey of CGIAR centers. The resulting analysis provides a characterization of public–private partnerships in the CGIAR and describes the factors that contribute to their success. These finding are important to improving both public policy and organizational practices in the international agricultural research system." - from authors' abstract.
    Keywords: Agricultural R&D, CGIAR, Innovation, Public-private partnerships,
    Date: 2007
  4. By: Davide Fantino (Bank of Italy, branch of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper examines the dynamic interaction between R&D and market structure in a horizontally differentiated market framework. Firms invest in R&D to modify the level of differentiation of their products, increasing their specialization and their market power. The invested resources in research are declining over time because of decreasing returns from further specialization. Prices, output and short-run profits of the firms producing differentiated products increase and move towards the higher steady state values, while production of the non-differentiated good falls; the number of firms is constant in all periods. The increasing specialization of varieties improves the overall utility of consumers. The comparison with the socially optimal solution shows that firms underinvest in R&D. Firms do not internalize the effects of their research effort on the overall level of substitutability of the other varieties and on the profits of the other firms.
    Keywords: R&D, market power, horizontal differentiation
    JEL: O3
    Date: 2008–01
  5. By: Hatipoglu, Ozan
    Abstract: When people have hierarchic preferences inequality affects innovation-driven growth through the implied demand distribution over new goods. The paper examines the demand path of the firm through its life-cycle and analyzes the efficiency of dynamic resource allocation under different inequality scenarios. Unlike previous models of inequality and demand induced innovation, the innovators are protected by patents of finite length. Longer patents increase the profitability of an innovation because they reduce the effect of inequality by increasing the likelihood that the firms benefit from a future demand jump in sales to the poor. This result does not hold, however, when initial inequality is low or the purchasing power of the poor is high. Moreover, reducing inequality does not increase growth as long as the amount of redistribution is below a threshold level.
    Keywords: innovation dynamics; finite patents; hierarchic preferences; wealth inequality.
    JEL: O15 O31 O14
    Date: 2008–03–20
  6. By: Eilhard, Jan
    Abstract: This paper explores empirically what factors influence a firm’s decision to contribute and to take leadership in open source projects. Increasing firms’ participation in the development of open source software (OSS) is generally perceived as a puzzle. Assuming that firms face a ”Make-or-Buy” decision before using OSS, we argue that contribution is in fact the best way for them to keep control of their supplier in a context where incomplete open source licenses govern transactions. Building on this proposition, we derive predictions on the drivers of firms’ contribution and leadership in open source projects, and test them on a unique dataset of 4,808 open source projects extracted from Sourceforge. Our empirical findings confirm the predictions and lend support to our hypotheses.
    Keywords: Open source; transaction cost; governance; firm boundaries; software
    JEL: D23 L17
    Date: 2008–01–28
  7. By: Jay Bhattacharya; Mikko Packalen
    Abstract: This paper examines whether the composition of medical research responds to changes in disease incidence and research opportunities. The paper also provides new evidence on induced pharmaceutical innovation. In both cases we use the change in the demographic structure of the market (measured by age structure and obesity prevalence) to test the induced innovation hypothesis. Technological opportunity is calculated from estimates of structural productivity parameters. The extent of inventive activity is measured from the MEDLINE database on 16 million biomedical publications. We match these data with data on disease incidence. We show that medical research responds to changes in disease incidence and research opportunities. We also find that pharmaceutical innovation responds to aging- and obesity-induced changes in potential market size.
    JEL: I1 L31 O33
    Date: 2008–03

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