nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2009‒06‒17
six papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. Do Patent Pools Encourage Innovation? Evidence from the 19th-Century Sewing Machine Industry By Ryan L. Lampe; Petra Moser
  2. Monetary and Implicit Incentives of Patent Examiners By Langinier, Corinne; Marcoul, Phillipe
  3. Search of Prior Art and Revelation of Information by Patent Applicants By Langinier, Corinne; Marcoul, Phillipe
  4. Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement in Imperfect Markets By Jiahua Che; Larry Qiu; Wen Zhou
  5. Technology Catching-up and the Role of Institutions By Fabio Manca
  6. Creative Industries: Case Studies from Arab Countries By Harabi, Najib

  1. By: Ryan L. Lampe; Petra Moser
    Abstract: Members of a patent pool agree to use a set of patents as if they were jointly owned by all members and license them as a package to other firms. Regulators favor pools as a means to encourage innovation: Pools are expected to reduce litigation risks for their members and lower license fees and transactions costs for other firms. This paper uses the example of the first patent pool in U.S. history, the Sewing Machine Combination (1856-1877) to perform the first empirical test of the effects of a patent pool on innovation. Contrary to theoretical predictions, the sewing machine pool appears to have discouraged patenting and innovation, in particular for the members of the pool. Data on stitches per minute, as an objectively quantifiable measure of innovation, confirm these findings. Innovation for both members and outside firms slowed as soon as the pool had been established and resumed only after it had dissolved.
    JEL: D02 K0 K21 L2 L24 L4 N11 N4 N7 O3 O31 O32 O34 O38
    Date: 2009–06
  2. By: Langinier, Corinne (University of Alberta, Department of Economics); Marcoul, Phillipe (Department of Rural Economy, University of Alberta)
    Abstract: Patent examiners, who are often accused of granting questionable patents, might lack proper incentives to carefully scrutinize applications. Furthermore, they have outside options and leave the patent office. It is thus interesting to investigate whether their granting behavior is affected by career concerns. In a simple setting, we analyze different incentive schemes that reward examiners on the basis of rejected and/or accepted patents. We then study the effect of career concerns on the granting behavior of examiners. We find that a reward based on rejection gives more incentives to search for relevant information, and career concerns increase these incentives. Besides, the information provided by the applicant has an impact on the examiners incentive to search for information.
    Keywords: patent examiners; career concerns
    JEL: J60 O34
    Date: 2009–05–30
  3. By: Langinier, Corinne (University of Alberta, Department of Economics); Marcoul, Phillipe (Department of Rural Economy, University of Alberta)
    Abstract: We examine the strategic non-revelation of information by patent applicants. In a model of a bilateral search of information, we show that patent applicants may conceal information, and that examiners make their screening intensity contingent upon the received information. We then analyze the effects of a double review policy and a policy in which examiners ex ante commit to screening efforts. The implementation of the former policy reduces strategic non-revelation, but its overall implication remains unclear. The latter policy involves equal screening intensity across all applications, requires a limited commitment power and induces truthful revelation.
    Keywords: patents; information; incentives
    JEL: D83 O31 O34
    Date: 2009–05–30
  4. By: Jiahua Che; Larry Qiu; Wen Zhou
    Date: 2009–06–08
  5. By: Fabio Manca (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: The aim of the paper is to investigate the role played by differences in Institutional Quality on the process of technology catch-up across countries. Empirical evidence shows how countries endowed with better institutions are those experiencing higher TFP growth rates, faster rates of technology adoption and hence being those more rapidly closing the gap with the frontier. Conversely, countries lacking some minimum institutional level are shown to diverge in the long run and not to catch-up. Some institutions, however, play an ambiguous role in the creation and adoption of technology. We find that the tightening of Intellectual Property Rights reduces the ability of followers to freely imitate technology slowing down their catch-up rate. This negative effect is stronger the farther the countries are found from the frontier. Other institutional categories such as openness to trade, instead, benefit both leaders and followers.
    Keywords: TFP, Growth, Institutions, IPRs
    Date: 2009–06
  6. By: Harabi, Najib
    Abstract: The paper describes and explains empirically the economic performance of four key creative industries (the book publishing, music sound recording, film production and software industries) in five Arab countries (Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon). Using the Porter (Diamond) model as its theoretical background, a survey was conducted in the years 2002-03 among 242 experts, covering firm representatives, industry and government experts. The results were incorporated into five national case studies. This paper synthesizes the results of those national reports, giving a comparative account of the performance of the four creative industries in these Arab countries. The overall results of the study suggest that creative industries in Arab countries are substantially underdeveloped, and there remains a great potential that should systematically be mobilized. A discussion of how this can be achieved is offered, based upon a well-designed and implemented process of upgrading and innovation in companies, industries and clusters related to creative activities. Public policy can play in this process an important role, as shown in the example of promoting Shanghai creative industries, where the Municipal Government has played a key role.
    Keywords: Knowledge-based industry; knowledge economy; creative industry; creative economy; cultural industry; copyright –based industry; Arab countries; Arab world; Morocco; Tunisia; Egypt; Jordan and Lebanon
    JEL: L82 Z11
    Date: 2009–05

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