nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2009‒09‒11
eleven papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. Do broad patents deter research cooperation ? By Tropéano, J.P.; Trommetter, M.
  2. Inciting Protocols – How International Environmental Agreements Trigger Knowledge Transfers By Thijs Dekker; Herman R.J. Vollebergh; Frans P. de Vries; Cees A. Withagen
  3. Who Invents?: Evidence from the Japan-U.S. inventor survey By John P. WALSH; NAGAOKA Sadao
  4. Specific and General Information Sharing Among Academic Scientists By Carolin Haeussler; Lin Jiang; Jerry Thursby; Marie C. Thursby
  5. The Financing of R&D and Innovation By Bronwyn H. Hall; Josh Lerner
  6. Equity for Open-Access Journal Publishing By Stuart M. Shieber
  7. Developing Innovative Competences in an Emerging Business System: New Private Enterprises in Hangzhou’s Software Industry By Greeven, M.J.; Xiaodong, Z.
  8. Digging into exploration processes within established firms: Insights from two entities dedicated to enhancing radical innovation to support existing business By Sihem Ben Mahmoud-Jouini; Florence Charue-Duboc; Sylvain Lenfle; Christophe Midler
  9. The Launch of Innovative Product-Related Services: Lessons from automotive telematics By Sylvain Lenfle; Christophe Midler
  10. Induced Innovation and Social Inequality: Evidence from Infant Medical Care By David M. Cutler; Ellen Meara; Seth Richards
  11. Relative Performance and R&D Competition By Toshihiro Matsumura; Noriaki Matsushima; Susumu Cato

  1. By: Tropéano, J.P.; Trommetter, M.
    Abstract: The authors develop a theoretical model where two competing firms need access to basic knowledge that only one firm owns. They determine the impact of an imperfect property right on the incentive to transfer that knowledge to the competitor. They compare these transfer strategies. (i) Patenting may lead to litigation costs that depend on the competition toughness. (ii) Keeping the knowledge secret involves no licence revenue but ensures a monopoly profit. (iii) The firm can also coooperate with the competitor and thereby avoids litigation. They show that whenever competition between both firms is low, making patentable basic knowledge promotes knowledge transfer through research cooperation.
    JEL: D23
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Thijs Dekker (Institute for Environmental Studies, VU University Amsterdam); Herman R.J. Vollebergh (Netherlands Assessment Agency, Bilthoven); Frans P. de Vries (Stichting Management School, Division of Economics, University of Stirling); Cees A. Withagen (Dept. of Spatial Economics, VU University Amsterdam, Dept. of Economics, and CentER, Tilburg University)
    Abstract: This paper studies how sulfur protocols trigger invention and diffusion of technologies for reducing SO2 emissions. For this goal we constructed a patent data set on SO2 abatement technologies filed in 15 signatory and non- signatory countries in the period 1970-1997. Our data enable us to study intended knowledge diffusion by separating so called mother patents, or original inventions, from family patents, which represent the same invention but are patents filed in foreign countries. We find that innovating firms file both types of patent applications before the protocols are actually implemented. Moreover, the filing of patents abroad (‘families’) is particularly strong in the countries that cooperate through the international protocols, i.e., the signatory countries. Our results suggest that firms are aware of the potential private benefits of such international agreements. They exploit potential advantages of larger product markets by seeking protection in countries that participate in the protocols.
    Keywords: International environmental agreements; Inventions; Knowledge transfers; Patents; Acid rain
    JEL: D7 D8 Q5
    Date: 2009–08–18
  3. By: John P. WALSH; NAGAOKA Sadao
    Abstract: Human resources are increasingly seen as a key to innovation competitiveness, and there is a need for detailed, systematic data on the demographics of inventors, their motivations, and their careers. To gain systematic data on who invents, we collected detailed information on a sample of inventors in the U.S. and Japan (the RIETI-Georgia Tech inventor survey). The data come from a unique set of matched surveys of U.S. and Japanese inventors of triadic patents, i.e., patents from patent families with granted patents in the U.S. and applications filed in Japan and in the EPO, with data from over 1900 responses from the U.S. and over 3600 responses from Japan. Based on these survey data, we compare the profiles, motivations, mobility and performance of inventors in the U.S. and Japan. Overall, we find some important similarities between inventors in the U.S. and Japan. The distribution across functional affiliations within the firm, by gender, by educational fields and their motivations, are all quite similar. In particular, in both countries we find inventors emphasizing task motivations over pecuniary motivations. Firm-centered motivation (e.g., generating value for my firm) is also an important reason for inventing and this reason is relatively more important in the U.S. than Japan. Their distribution across types of organizations is quite similar. The percent of university inventors is nearly the same in the two countries, and the distribution of these inventors across technology classes is also quite similar. However, the percent from very small firms is significantly higher in the U.S. There are a few important differences. American inventors are much more likely to have a Ph.D. American inventors are older (even controlling for differences in the share of the inventors with Ph.D.s). The modal Japanese inventor has his first invention in his 20s, while for the U.S., the mode is the early 30s, and we also find many more American inventors over age 55 at the time of their triadic patent invention. In both countries, older inventors tend to produce higher value patents. American inventors are also much more mobile (although Japanese inventors with Ph.D.s also have high rates of mobility, mainly in the form of secondments). In the U.S., mobility tends to decline with age, while in Japan, mobility is higher for older inventors (likely due to the differences in retirement ages in the two countries). In both countries, mobility is associated with greater access to outside information. Finally, we find that foreign-born inventors are very important in the U.S. (we did not collect data on country of origin for Japan). Overall, these results suggest that inventor characteristics may be important for firm performance, and that institutional differences may affect the profile of inventors in each country, although the inventors of the two countries are very similar in many respects. Future work will examine how these cross-national differences in inventor profiles affect innovation in each country.
    Date: 2009–07
  4. By: Carolin Haeussler; Lin Jiang; Jerry Thursby; Marie C. Thursby
    Abstract: We provide theoretical and empirical evidence on the factors that influence the willingness of academic scientists to share research results. We distinguish between two types of sharing, specific sharing in which a researcher shares her data or materials with another and general sharing in which scientists report results to the entire community (as in conference presentations). We present two simple games in which scientists research a problem of scientific merit (with an associated prize of academic and/or commercial value). In both cases, the scientists have intermediate research results but none has solved the entire problem.We test these models using a unique survey of bio-scientists in the UK and Germany regarding their willingness to "share." Our results generally support both models. In both, sharing is negatively related to competition and the importance of patents. In other respects they differ markedly. For example, large teams are more likely to share specifically but less likely to share generally. Rank does not matter for general sharing, but it does for specific sharing, where untenured faculty are less likely to share. One important implication is that policies designed to enhance sharing must be tailored to the type of sharing.
    JEL: O3 O31
    Date: 2009–09
  5. By: Bronwyn H. Hall; Josh Lerner
    Abstract: Evidence on the “funding gap“ for investment innovation is surveyed. The focus is on financial market reasons for underinvestment that exist even when externality-induced underinvestment is absent. We conclude that while small and new innovative firms experience high costs of capital that are only partly mitigated by the presence of venture capital, the evidence for high costs of R&D capital for large firms is mixed. Nevertheless, large established firms do appear to prefer internal funds for financing such investments and they manage their cash flow to ensure this. Evidence shows that there are limits to venture capital as a solution to the funding gap, especially in countries where public equity markets for VC exit are not highly developed. We conclude by suggesting areas for further research.
    JEL: G24 G32 O32 O38
    Date: 2009–09
  6. By: Stuart M. Shieber
    Abstract: Open access journal publishing is currently at a systematic disadvantage relative to the traditional subscription-based journal publishing. A simple, cost effective remedy to this inequity is proposed that would put open access publishing on a path to become a sustainable, efficient system, allowing the two journal publishing systems to compete on a more level playing field.
    Keywords: journal, publishing, open access journal, sustainable, health care, industry, health care industry, inequity, infrastructure, business model, consumers, readers, insurance
    Date: 2009
  7. By: Greeven, M.J.; Xiaodong, Z. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: What kind of innovative competences are credibly developed by private entrepreneurs in China’s transition economy? On the basis of original empirical fieldwork in 45 software enterprises in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, we propose a working theory of innovative competence development in an emerging private sector. Combining resource-based and institutional perspectives we argue that Chinese private enterprises in Hangzhou were able to develop unique innovative competences to overcome resource constraints and manage technical - and market risks while respecting the location and sector-specific constraints. The findings suggest that private software enterprises in Hangzhou developed five innovative competences: organizational integration, financial commitment, external knowledge transformation, reputation development and strategic flexibility. The analysis further allows to propose three implications: 1) These five competences form a ‘configuration’ or coherent set of competences in this particular institutional setting; 2) Technological – and institutional regimes shape the potential range of innovative competences firms credibly develop depending on the available resources of the firm; 3) Innovative competences can be functional equivalents of institutions in the absence of well-developed, mature formal institutions.
    Keywords: private entrepreneurs;innovation;China;software industry;institutions;competences;business system
    Date: 2009–08–08
  8. By: Sihem Ben Mahmoud-Jouini (CRG - Centre de recherche en gestion - CNRS : UMR7655 - Polytechnique - X); Florence Charue-Duboc (CRG - Centre de recherche en gestion - CNRS : UMR7655 - Polytechnique - X); Sylvain Lenfle (CRG - Centre de recherche en gestion - CNRS : UMR7655 - Polytechnique - X); Christophe Midler (CRG - Centre de recherche en gestion - CNRS : UMR7655 - Polytechnique - X)
    Abstract: Since the seminal work of J. March (1991), balancing exploration and exploitation activities is an important topic in management research. Though the literature is abundant on the management of exploitation activities, exploration activities remain a much less studied area. How should be compared and contrasted: exploration activity, R&D, new product development project and advance engineering? This is central to understand the specificities of exploration processes. In this paper we propose to dig into the exploration process based on the comparison between two case study researches. These longitudinal researches were conducted in two different firms in the automotive industry, one in a first tier supplier company (Ben Mahmoud-Jouini, Charue-Duboc and Fourcade2007), the second in an OEM company (Lenfle and Midler 2003). These two companies created an entity specifically in charge of exploring novel innovative opportunities in a specified but broad field. The mission of these entities was to identify novel opportunities that could support the existing business in changing or expanding their scope but not in creating an entirely new business. In order to dig into exploration processes, we propose to delineate more precisely the specificities of these exploratory entities. We stress three dimensions: (i) five characteristics of the “situation” the team of the exploratory entities face (the strategic issues raised, the purpose of the exploration, the type of results expected, the time span, the approach) (ii) five activities undertaken within the entities (creativity processes, external communication, interactions with the customer, formulation of a technological strategy, analysis of acquisition targets) (iii) and the organizational design that supported these activities. Based on these cases, we highlight an interplay between exploration and exploitation activities. Hence, on the one hand the exploratory entity relies largely on the competences and expertise located in the existing business of the firm on the other hand the entity develops new knowledge either on technology new to the company or on market that are useful for the established divisions of the company and used by them. We raise the question of the evolution of the boundaries between exploratory entities and the rest of the firm across time, which remains open in the literature. Hence, exploratory entities are not necessarily designed to develop innovative products up to their commercialization. Rather the latest phases of new product development can be transferred to more exploitative entities.
    Keywords: creativity, Automotive Industry, Innovation Management, exploration
    Date: 2009–06
  9. By: Sylvain Lenfle (CRG - Centre de recherche en gestion - CNRS : UMR7655 - Polytechnique - X); Christophe Midler (CRG - Centre de recherche en gestion - CNRS : UMR7655 - Polytechnique - X)
    Abstract: In the literature on new product development, most existing studies on the end of the design process concentrate on managing ramp-up in the field of manufactured products. This situation poses a problem at a time when our economies increasingly depend upon services and products are more and more related with sophisticated services that provides value for customers and producers. This article examines the management of the final phases of the design process of an innovative product-related service. Our research thus makes three contributions: 1) An analysis of the implementation process shows that the simultaneity of the production and consumption of a service means that three types of learning – technical, sales and uses – take place at the same time. Launch management strategies have thus to be adapted. 2) An analysis of the data collected confirms this difference by bringing to light great contrasts in these different aspects of learning. 3) This led us to identify a field that needs exploration by researchers in product and services innovation: the design of the sales process. Furthermore we underline two scenarios to manage the launch of innovative product-related services.
    Keywords: project management, Services, Automotive telematics, Product Launch, Ramp up, Innovation Management
    Date: 2009
  10. By: David M. Cutler; Ellen Meara; Seth Richards
    Abstract: We develop a model of induced innovation where research effort is a function of the death rate, and thus the potential to reduce deaths in the population. We also consider potential social consequences that arise from this form of induced innovation based on differences in disease prevalence across population subgroups (i.e. race). Our model yields three empirical predictions. First, initial death rates and subsequent research effort should be positively correlated. Second, research effort should be associated with more rapid mortality declines. Third, as a byproduct of targeting the most common conditions in the population as a whole, induced innovation leads to growth in mortality disparities between minority and majority groups. Using information on infant deaths in the U.S. between 1983 and 1998, we find support for all three empirical predictions. We estimate that induced innovation predicts about 20 percent of declines in infant mortality over this period. At the same time, innovation that occurred in response to the most common causes of death favored the majority racial group in the U.S., whites. We estimate that induced innovation contributed about one third of the rise in the black-white infant mortality ratio during our period of study.
    JEL: I1 I12 J1 J15
    Date: 2009–09
  11. By: Toshihiro Matsumura; Noriaki Matsushima; Susumu Cato
    Abstract: This paper formulates a duopoly model in which firms care about relative profits as well as their own profits. Our purpose is to investigate the relationship between the weight of relative performance and R&D expenditure. We find a non-monotone relationship between the weight of relative performance in their objectives and their R&D levels. Both highly reciprocal (altruism) and negative reciprocal attitudes yield high levels of R&D, while the intermediate situations yield low levels of R&D.
    Date: 2009–08

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