nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2009‒08‒08
eight papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. Patent policy, patent pools, and the accumulation of claims in sequential innovation By Gaston Llanes; Stefano Trento
  2. Software Patent and its Impact on Software Innovation in Japan By MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki
  3. Patents, Public-Private Partnerships or Prizes – How should we support pharmaceutical innovation? By Paul Grootendorst
  4. Does Private Equity Investment Spur Innovation? Evidence from Europe. By Alexander Popov; Peter Roosenboom
  5. Inventor networks in emerging key technologies: information technology vs. semiconductors By Holger Graf
  6. If not for money for what? Digging into the OS/FS contributors’ motivations By Graziella Marzi
  8. Ready to Leave the Ivory Tower? - Academic Scientists' Appeal to Work in the Private Sector By Michael Fritsch; Stefan Krabel

  1. By: Gaston Llanes (Harvard Business School, Entrepreneurial Management Unit); Stefano Trento (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Historia Economica,)
    Abstract: We present a dynamic model where the accumulation of patents generates an increasing number of claims on sequential innovation. We study the equilibrium innovation activity under three regimes: patents, no-patents and patent pools. Patent pools increase the probability of innovation with respect to patents, but we also find that: (1) their outcome can be replicated by a licensing scheme in which innovators sell complete patent rights, and (2) they are dynamically unstable. We find that none of the above regimes can reach the first or second best. Finally, we consider patents of finite duration and determine the optimal patent length.
    Keywords: Sequential Innovation, Patent Pools, Anticommons
    JEL: L13 O31 O34
    Date: 2009–07
  2. By: MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki
    Abstract: In Japan, the software patent system has been reformed and now software has become a patentable subject matter. In this paper, this pro-patent shift on software is surveyed and its impact on software innovation is analyzed. Before the 1990's, inventions related to software could not be patented by themselves, but they could be applied when combined with hardware related inventions. Therefore, integrated electronics firms used to be the major software patent applicants. However, during the period from the late 1990's to the early 2000's, when software patent reforms were introduced, innovative activities (measuring patent applications) by independent software development firms began. We used datasets linking the IIP (Institute of Intellectual Property) patent database (individual patent datasets by using JPO's publication data) and firm level data from the Survey on Selected Services (software part) (METI) and the Basic Survey of Business Activity and Structure (METI). Based on the panel datasets from approximately 550 firms from 2001 to 2005, we found that patent applications from software firms gradually increased from the 1990's, while we were unable to find a direct impact of software patent system reforms. In addition, it was also found that patent application is positively related to a software company's independent strategy of subcontracting out system headed by large system integrators.
    Date: 2009–08
  3. By: Paul Grootendorst
    Abstract: The question as to how society should support pharmaceutical (‘pharma’) innovation is both pertinent and timely: Pharma drugs are an integral component of modern health care and hold the promise to treat more effectively various debilitating health problems. The productivity of the pharma R&D enterprise, however, has declined since the 1980s. Many observers question whether the patent system is conducive to pharma innovation and point to several promising alternative mechanisms. These mechanisms include both ‘push’ programs – subsidies directed towards the cost of pharma R&D – and ‘pull’ programs – lumpsum and royalty-based rewards for the outputs of pharma R&D, that is, new drugs. I review evidence why our current system of pharma patents is defective and outline the various alternative mechanisms that may spur pharma innovation more effectively.
    Keywords: Pharmaceuticals, R&D, patents, prizes, innovation
    JEL: I18 O34
    Date: 2009–07
  4. By: Alexander Popov (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, D-60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.); Peter Roosenboom (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062 PA Rotterdam, Netherlands.)
    Abstract: We provide the first cross-country evidence of the effect of investment by private equity firms on innovation, focusing on a sample of European countries and using Kortum and Lerner’s (2000) empirical methodology. Using an 18-country panel covering the period 1991-2004, we study how private equity finance affects patent applications and patent grants. We address concerns about causality in several ways, including exploiting variation in laws regulating the investment behaviour of pension funds and insurance companies across countries and over time. We also control for the standard determinants of innovation like R&D, human capital, and patent protection. Our estimates imply that while private equity investment accounts for 8% of aggregate (private equity plus R&D) industrial spending, PE accounts for as much as 12% of industrial innovation. We also present similar evidence from the biotech industry to alleviate concerns that our results are biased by aggregation. JEL Classification: C23, G15, O16.
    Keywords: private equity, venture capital, innovation.
    Date: 2009–06
  5. By: Holger Graf (Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Economics Department)
    Abstract: We analyze the development of the German knowledge base measured by co-classifications of patents by German inventors and relate this technological development to changes in the structure of the underlying inventor networks. Our central hypothesis states that technologies which become more central to the knowledge base are also characterized by a higher connectedness of the inventor network. We exemplify our theoretical considerations in a comparative study of two patenting fields - information technology and semiconductors. It turns out that information technology shows the highest increases in patents but shows no of a key technology. Contrary, semiconductors develops towards a key technology, despite a moderate increase in the number of patents. The dynamic analysis of inventor networks in both fields shows an increasing connectedness and the emergence of a large component in semiconductors but not in information technology, which is in line with our expectations.
    Keywords: Knowledge relatedness, Innovator networks, Interdisciplinary research, Patents, Key Technology
    JEL: O31 Z13
    Date: 2009–08–06
  6. By: Graziella Marzi
    Abstract: This paper analyses the data collected by two of the most significant surveys on the Open Source Software (OSS) contributors’ motivations with the aim of assessing if in the OSS products circulation we can recognise the characteristics of the modern way of giving, suggested by Godbout (2000). The analysis of the information collected seems to confirm that the intrinsic motivations (social/community and political) prevail over the extrinsic ones (monetary and signalling) when developers decide to join and stay in the OS community and that the feeling of reciprocity is shared by the majority of the community members. Therefore the OSS product circulation seems to fit into the characteristics of the gift circulation.
    Keywords: open source software, reciprocity, gift economy
    JEL: L17 L L
    Date: 2009–07
  7. By: Jakob B. Madsen
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of international patent stock on total factor productivity for 16 OECD countries over the past 120 years. The results show that the international patent stock is highly influential for economic growth and, together with knowledge spillovers through the channel of imports, has contributed significantly to TFP growth and σ-convergence among the OECD countries over the past 120 years.
    Keywords: TFP growth, international diffusion of ideas, international patents, convergence.
    JEL: E13 E22 E23 O11 O3 O47
    Date: 2009–08
  8. By: Michael Fritsch (Friedrich Schiller University, School of Economics and Business Administration); Stefan Krabel (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group, Jena)
    Abstract: In this study we investigate the factors that shape the attitudes of scientists toward starting their own business or working in a private sector firm. The analysis is based on data collected from scientists working in the German Max Planck Society, a research institution devoted to basic science. We find that the scientists' evaluations of the attractiveness of working in a private sector firm or of starting their own business differ considerably according to their academic discipline and the perceived commercial potential of their research. The ability to take risks, prior work experience in private firms, and personal experience with industry cooperation lead to a positive attitude towards switching to private sector employment or entrepreneurship. Strong willingness to freely distribute research findings are related to a low appeal of private sector work.
    Keywords: Knowledge transfer, science, entrepreneurship, innovation, commercialization
    JEL: O31 O33 L26 L32
    Date: 2009–08–06

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