nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2008‒07‒14
five papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. Incidence and Growth of Patent Thickets - The Impact of Technological Opportunities and Complexity By Harhoff, Dietmar; von Graevenitz, Georg; Wagner, Stefan
  2. Market Structure and Property Rights in Open Source Industries By Michele Boldrin; David K Levine
  3. Appropriation and Intellectual Property By Michele Boldrin; David K Levine
  4. Competition against peer-to-peer networks By Herings P. Jean-Jacques; Peeters Ronald; Yang Michael
  5. Outlaw Community Innovations By Schulz, Celine; Wagner, Stefan

  1. By: Harhoff, Dietmar; von Graevenitz, Georg; Wagner, Stefan
    Abstract: We investigate incidence and evolution of patent thickets. A theoretical model of patenting encompassing complex and discrete technologies is introduced. It is shown that decreased technological opportunities increase patenting incentives in complex technologies. This effect gets stronger as complexity grows. In contrast, lower technological opportunities reduce patenting incentives in discrete technologies. We also analyze under which conditions greater complexity increases patenting incentives in complex technologies. A new measure of technological complexity is proposed that captures the density of patent thickets. Additionally, measures of fragmentation and technological opportunities are constructed exploiting European patent citations. We employ a panel capturing patenting behaviour of 2074 firms in 30 technology areas over 15 years. GMM estimation results show that patenting conforms to our theoretical model. The results indicate that patent thickets exist in 9 of the 30 technology areas. Decreasing technological opportunities are a surprisingly strong driver of patent thicket growth.
    Keywords: complexity; patent portfolios; patent thickets; patenting; technological opportunities
    JEL: L13 L20 O34
    Date: 2008–07
  2. By: Michele Boldrin; David K Levine
    Date: 2008–07–10
  3. By: Michele Boldrin; David K Levine
    Date: 2008–07–06
  4. By: Herings P. Jean-Jacques; Peeters Ronald; Yang Michael (METEOR)
    Abstract: In this paper, we consider the competition of providers of information products against P2P networks that offer illegal versions of the information products. Depending on the generic cost factor of downloading—incorporating factors including, among other things, the degree of legal enforcement of intellectual property rights—we find that the firm may employ pricing strategies to either deter the entry of a network or to accommodate it. In the latter case, we find that the equilibrium price moves in the opposite direction of the generic cost factor of downloading. This counter-intuitive result corresponds to a very subtle form of platform competition between the firm and the network. Furthermore, profits for the firm ambiguously decrease when the generic cost factor of downloading declines, whereas total welfare unambiguously increases. This implies that it may well be welfare enhancing to relax the legal enforcements of intellectual property rights.
    Keywords: Strategy;
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Schulz, Celine; Wagner, Stefan
    Abstract: Recent studies of outlaw communities provide qualitative evidence of their existence and the organisation of the underlying innovation processes. We provide descriptive results from a large scale survey of two online outlaw communities focussing on Microsoft's XBox. In line with previous findings, we identify two types of participants in outlaw communities - user innovators and adopters. Based on 2,256 responses, we find that users modify their XBox mainly to be able to increase the set of available functions of their XBox. Users are also motivated to modify their XBox for the sake of having fun and to conduct pirate behaviour. Finally, the results from our survey suggest that user innovators are largely intrinsically motivated by fun and the intellectual stimulation of writing code for homebrew software.
    Keywords: Outlaw community innovation; video game consoles; homebrew software
    JEL: M10 M20
    Date: 2008–07–01

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