nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2009‒03‒22
seven papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. Patent Scope and Technology Choice By Färnstrand Damsgaard, Erika
  2. Public Knowledge, Private Knowledge: The Intellectual Capital of Entrepreneurs By Albert Link; Christopher Ruhm
  3. Academic Patenting in Japan: Illustration from a Leading Japanese University. By Makiko Takahashi; René Carraz
  4. Strategic Information Disclosure and Competition for an Imperfectly Protected Innovation By Jos Jansen
  5. First-to-invent versus first-to-file, Invention, and international patent law harmonization By Kaz Miyagiwa
  6. Towards Demand Based Innovation Policy? The Introduction of SHOKs as Innovation Policy Instrument By Tuomo Nikulainen; Antti-Jussi Tahvanainen
  7. Yliopistollinen teknologiansiirto muutosten pyörteissä. Näkemyksiä SHOK korkeakoulukeksintölain ja yliopistolain vaikutuksista tutkimus- ja innovaatiotoimintaan By Antti-Jussi Tahvanainen

  1. By: Färnstrand Damsgaard, Erika (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of an increase in patent scope on R&D and innovation. It presents a model where patent scope affects an entrant firm's technology choice and thereby creates a trade-off between R&D investments and wasteful duplication of R&D. The model predicts that an increase in patent scope can increase the probability of innovation if the incumbent’s profit increase from innovation is large and the patented technology has a small advantage over the alternative technology. However, when the model is extended to Stackelberg competition or licensing, the benefit of a broad patent scope to a large extent disappears.
    Keywords: Innovation; Patents; Patent policy; Licensing
    JEL: K20 L51
    Date: 2009–03–03
  2. By: Albert Link; Christopher Ruhm
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the innovative actions of entrepreneurs, namely their tendency to reveal the intellectual capital that results from their research efforts either in the form of public knowledge (publications) or private knowledge (patents). Using data collected by the National Research Council within the U.S. National Academies from their survey of firm’s that received National Institutes of Health Phase II Small Business Innovation Research awards between 1992 and 2001, we find that entrepreneurs with academic backgrounds are more likely to publish their intellectual capital compared to entrepreneurs with business backgrounds, who are more likely to patent their intellectual capital. We also find that when universities are research partners, their presence complements the tendencies of academic entrepreneurs but does not offset those of business entrepreneurs.
    JEL: M14 O31
    Date: 2009–03
  3. By: Makiko Takahashi; René Carraz
    Abstract: In April 2004, the Japanese government incorporated the national universities as “independent administrative entities”. This important change in Japan’s research culture has allowed its universities to gain higher control and oversight over their strategic development trajectories. In this paper, we will present an analysis centered on the legislative changes concerning intellectual property and their impact on Japanese universities. We will particularly focus our attention on a leading Japanese research institution: Tohoku University. We will analyze the different mechanisms that have been put in place to foster the use of patents by faculty members. In that respect, we introduce a differentiation between university-owned and university-invented patents, and put emphasis on the difference in patenting behaviors among scientific disciplines. Finally, we argue that contractual research is a major channel for the technology transfer of Japanese universities’ knowledge and findings.
    Keywords: science policy, academic research, academic patenting, Japan.
    JEL: O31 O53
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Jos Jansen (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
    Abstract: The imperfect appropriability of revenues from innovation affects the incentives of firms to invest, and to disclose information about their innovative productivity. It creates a free-rider effect in the competition for the innovation that countervails the familiar business-stealing effect. Moreover, it affects the disclosure incentives such that full disclosure emerges for extreme revenue spillovers (e.g., full protection and no protection of intellectual property), but either partial disclosure or full concealment emerges for intermediate spillovers. I analyze the implications of imperfect appropriability and strategic disclosure for the firms.profits and the probability of innovation.
    Keywords: R&D competition, innovation, spillovers, information disclosure, strategic substitutes, free-rider effect, externality
    JEL: D82 D83 L23 O31 O32
    Date: 2009–02
  5. By: Kaz Miyagiwa
    Abstract: The U.S. has been under pressure to abandon the unique first-to-invent feature of its patent law for awarding patents. The opposition to reform argues that switching to a first-to-file rule, the international norm, will undermine innovation. We evaluate this argument in a dynamic stochastic model of a patent race that captures the key features of the U.S. patent system. The model also explains the puzzle why there is much filing activity in the U.S., when in first-toinvent the inventor never has to file for a patent unless he must sue.
    Date: 2009–03
  6. By: Tuomo Nikulainen; Antti-Jussi Tahvanainen
    Abstract: ABSTRACT : This paper aims to provide an overview of the recently introduced demand based innovation policy instrument in Finland - the Strategic Centers for Science, Technology and Innovation (in Finnish - SHOKs). SHOKs are formed to support the innovative activities of existing industries in Finland with emphasis on industrial renewal through innovation. The focus in this paper is on the current state of SHOKs, the role of different actors in their formation process, the organization of SHOKs, the development of strategic long-term research agendas and short-term research programs, the challenges related to intellectual property rights, and co-operation between different SHOKs. The paper compares these dimensions across SHOKs and tries to highlight some potential threats and opportunities that might arise. The underlying interview data shows that, while SHOKs are fairly similar in most of the dimensions, there are differences in partner selection, industry specificity, and formulation of research areas. It should be noted that individual SHOKs are in very different stages of development as some have existed for two years and others are still to be established.
    Keywords: SHOK, demand-based innovation policy, policy instruments, national systems of innovation
    JEL: O31 O32 O33 O34 O38
    Date: 2009–03–13
  7. By: Antti-Jussi Tahvanainen
    Abstract: ABSTRACT : Finnish university technology transfer is currently caught in the turbulences of major changes in the national innovation system. Three virtually simultaneous changes are of special importance. The first is the massive on-going renewal of the Universities Act governing the Finnish higher education system in its entirety. It was originally initiated to provide universities with more financial and operational flexibility and autonomy and, thus, with better premises to fulfil the three mandates (i) to educate, (ii) to conduct academic research, and (iii) to impact societal welfare. The second change is the foundation of the so-called Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation (Finnish acronym : SHOK) that aim at establishing and re-enforcing long-term research cooperation between the academia and the Industry. The final change is the enactment of the new University Inventions Act in early January 2007. The Act provided universities with the rights of ownership to inventions made in sponsored research that, according to the principle of the professor’s privilege, were considered property of the respective academic inventors prior to the change. In the beginning of 2008 Etlatieto Ltd. interviewed 11 of 20 research universities active in Finland to capture the potential impacts the three changes might have on university technology transfer activities. The set of interviewees comprised professionals conducting different tasks in the technology transfer units of universities ranging from research directors to technology transfer officers to lawyers. According to the results, the expected benefits of the renewal of the Universities Act mainly comprise of the increasing financial flexibility of universities hoped to translate into a proliferation of tools available for the transfer of university technology (support of start-ups, investments etc.), and a general increase in the profile of technology transfer functions that should alleviate their current deficiency in resources. Challenges regarding the Universities Act, on the other hand, relate to the lack of administrative and business related expertise in universities required to fulfil the up-coming tasks mandated by the Act, and the lack of commitment on part of universities’ management resulting in insufficient resources. SHOKs, in turn, are expected to enable longer project cycles, to reduce administrative burden, to encourage the setting of scientifically more ambitious research objectives, as well as to increase research collaboration and its efficiency. Challenges were identified to relate to proposed IPR-practices potentially endangering the academic freedom of university research, the incentive schemes of top researchers to participate in SHOK pro-jects, the inefficiencies of a large participant base, and the dangers of a strongly industry driven mode of cooperation to academic values. Finally, the benefits of the University Inventions Act are expected to emerge from the gradual dismantling of the “ivory tower of academe”, an increase in the amount of received invention disclosures, and more efficient administrative practices in university technology transfer functions. Perceived challenges, in turn, include in-terpretational difficulties of the Act, the modest commitment of university management to university technology transfer in general, increasing administrative burdens, and strong cultural differences between researchers, industry and university administration
    Keywords: Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation, SHOK, Universities Act, University Inventions Act, university technology transfer, national innovation system, technology transfer offices
    JEL: O30 O38 O33 O34
    Date: 2009–03–17

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