nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2008‒08‒31
eight papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. Building and Blocking: The Two Faces of Technology Acquisition By Grimpe, Christoph; Hussinger, Katrin
  2. Renewal of Patents and Government Financing By Svensson, Roger
  3. Patenting, Commercialization, and US Academic Research in the 21st Century: The Resilience of Basic, Federally-Funded Open Science By Barham, Bradford L.; Foltz, Jeremy D.
  4. Technological Innovation and Monopolization By Scherer, F. M.
  5. Markets and Uncertainty in Pharmaceutical Development By Scherer, F. M.
  6. Effects of Patent Policy on Income and Consumption Inequality in an R&D-Growth Model By Chu, Angus C.
  7. Re-inventing New Zealand: Institutions Output and Patents 1870-1939 By David Greasley; Les Oxley
  8. Notes on the Lisbon process: An analysis of the impacts of reaching the Lisbon targets for skills, R&D and the administrative burden in the European Union By Ray Barrell; Simon Kirby

  1. By: Grimpe, Christoph; Hussinger, Katrin
    Abstract: Gaining access to technological assets and patents, in particular, has long been a major motive and objective for firm acquisitions. On the one hand, patents are used as a building instrument for the acquirer’s technology portfolio. On the other hand, patents can be attractive because of their strategic value as a bargaining chip, e.g. in licensing negotiations. This is especially the case if patents have the potential to block competitors. Drawing on transaction cost economics and the resource-based view of the firm, we analyze the importance of these two faces of technology acquisition for the valuation of a target firm. Empirical evidence for European firm acquisitions in the period from 1999 to 2003 indicates that the price paid by an acquirer for a target increases with the patent stock, the relatedness, the value and the blocking potential of the target’s patents, especially if blocking patents are in technology fields related to the acquiring firm’s patent portfolio. Our results have implications for competition authorities, in that M&A transactions may considerably impact technology markets. This would also need to be reflected in the management’s technology strategy.
    Keywords: Firm acquisitions, technology, patents, blocking patents
    JEL: G34 L20 O34
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Svensson, Roger (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: I apply a survival model to a detailed dataset of Swedish patents to estimate how different factors affect the likelihood of patent renewal. Since the owners know more about the patents than potential external financiers, there is a problem of asymmetric information. To overcome this, Sweden has for a long time relied on government support rather than private venture capital. The empirical results show that patents which have received soft government financing in the R&D-phase have a higher probability of expiring than patents without such financing. But patents that have received more market-oriented government loans during the commercialization phase are renewed for as long as other commercialized patents. This finding indicates that it is the financing terms rather than bad choices of projects that explain the low renewal of patents with government financing.
    Keywords: Patents; Renewal; Government Financing; Survival Model
    JEL: G30 O34 O38
    Date: 2008–08–06
  3. By: Barham, Bradford L. (U of Wisconsin); Foltz, Jeremy D.
    Abstract: The life sciences have been the most dynamic area of US university research and commercialization efforts over the past twenty-five years. Using unique data from a large representative sample of life scientists this work examines whether academic patenting and commercialization complement, substitute for, or “hold-up” other research activities. The results highlight the resilience of the basic, federally-funded open scientific research model. Our findings, in turn, underscore the fundamental importance of maintaining the public funding and commitment to the academic, scientific enterprise.
    Date: 2007–09
  4. By: Scherer, F. M. (Harvard U)
    Abstract: This paper, written for an American Bar Association compendium on competition policy, reviews seven of the most important U.S. antitrust cases charging firms in high-technology industries with violations of Sherman Act Section II -- i.e., with monopolization. The principal target firms were Standard Oil of New Jersey, General Electric (in lamps), AT&T, du Pont (for cellophane), Xerox, IBM, and Microsoft (both in the United States and Europe). From an analysis of the historical records, it is clear that in most instances, the legal system took far too long to deal with the contested issues. In the interim, firms that had achieved dominant positions through innovation often embraced new technologies slowly, sometimes pursuing an explicit "fast second" strategy -- that is, waiting to innovate until their positions were threatened by outsiders. The stimulating effect of outside challenges suggests that entry should be kept open, among other things by combating the extension over time of blocking patent positions. Procedural reforms for accelerating the adjudication of complaints are proposed.
    Date: 2007–10
  5. By: Scherer, F. M. (Harvard U)
    Abstract: This paper, written for a conference on biomedical innovation at the University of Kiel, examines the theory of induced innovation, with science-push and demand-pull variants, in the context of pharmaceutical R&D. It explores how the theory applies under varying market structure, uncertainty, and behavioral (i.e., rent-seeking vs. secure profit maximization) conditions. The paradox of high gross margins but only mildly supra-normal returns on investment in the pharmaceutical industry is consistent with the pursuit of parallel research paths under uncertainty, rent-seeking, and cannibalization hypotheses. Parallel paths strategies carried implicitly to near-zero profit equilibria by firms competing for monopoly positions may approach social optimality, given plausible differences between private and social returns. But evidence on whether this outcome is actually approximated remains scarce.
    Date: 2007–09
  6. By: Chu, Angus C.
    Abstract: What are the effects of strengthening patent protection on income and consumption inequality? To analyze this question, this paper incorporates heterogeneity in the initial wealth of households into a canonical quality-ladder growth model with endogenous labor supply. In this model, I firstly show that the aggregate economy always jumps immediately to a unique and stable balanced-growth path. Given the balanced-growth behavior of the aggregate economy and an exogenous distribution of initial wealth, I then show that the endogenous distribution of assets in subsequent periods is stationary and equal to its initial distribution. The model predicts that strengthening patent protection increases (a) economic growth by stimulating R&D investment and (b) income inequality by raising the return on assets. However, whether it also increases consumption inequality depends on the elasticity of intertemporal substitution. If and only if this elasticity is less (greater) than unity, strengthening patent protection increases (decreases) consumption inequality. For standard parameter values, strengthening patent protection leads to a larger increase in income inequality than consumption inequality.
    Keywords: endogenous growth; heterogeneity; income inequality; patent policy
    JEL: D31 O41 O34
    Date: 2008–08
  7. By: David Greasley; Les Oxley (University of Canterbury)
    Abstract: New estimates of commodity output and patenting are used to explore New Zealand’s transition from extensive to intensive growth. By investigating the cointegrating and causal relationships among the output of 25 industries we show that a small number of common trends shaped the contours of her economic development. In turn the leading industries were driven by knowledge growth as reflected in patents statistics. New Zealand's distinctive institutions and human capital fostered the knowledge which transformed the farming landscape, promoted wider land ownership, and created a production system which integrated farm and factory to promote intensive growth.
    Keywords: Growth; Institutions; Patents; Common trends; Commodity output, New Zealand Research and Development
    JEL: O31 O43 O14 N17 N77
    Date: 2008–08–01
  8. By: Ray Barrell; Simon Kirby
    Abstract: This paper describes the National Institute of Economic and Social Research’s (NIESR)approach to the analysis of the implementation of the Lisbon Agenda. It forms the background to the European Commission Competitiveness Report chapter on spillovers and the Lisbon Process. The paper describes the assumptions that have been made and discusses in more depth the outline results presented in that chapter. The paper discusses both synergies and spillovers, and looks first at the impacts from policies taken unilaterally in each country one at a time and then all simultaneously in all the European Union countries. Simulations show there are a number of spillovers from the various policies and targets within the Lisbon Agenda. Our analysis suggests that if the administrative burden were to be reduced by 25 per cent then the aggregate EU unemployment rate would be ¾ percentage point lower than baseline. The results suggest synergies are strongest between the policies to increase skills and to raise R&D expenditure. Overall the effective implementation of the Lisbon Agenda would be to increase the level of output by 0.6 per cent.
    Date: 2007–11

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