nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2010‒10‒09
eight papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. Patent Portfolio Races in Concentrated Markets for Technology By Florian Jell; Joachim Henkel
  2. Globalization and Knowledge Spillover: International Direct Investment, Exports and Patents By Chang, C-L.; Chen, S-P.; McAleer, M.J.
  3. Outsourcing and R&D Investment with Costly Patent Protection By Che, XiaoGang; Yang, Yibai; Zhang, Haoyu
  4. Differentiated Intellectual Property Regimes for Environmental and Climate Technologies By Keith Maskus
  5. Information-Sharing in Academia and the Industry: A Comparative Study By Carolin Haeussler
  6. Entrepreneurial Experiments in Science Policy: Analizing the Human Genome Project By Kenneth G. Huang; Fiona E. Murray
  7. The Costs and Underappreciated Consequences of Research Misconduct: A Case Study By Arthur M Michalek; Alan D Hutson; Camille P Wicher; Donald L Trump
  8. On R&D Information Sharing and Merger By Uday Bhanu Sinha

  1. By: Florian Jell; Joachim Henkel
    Abstract: Patent application numbers grow exponentially in many industries, a phenomenon that has been linked to high fragmentation of patent ownership. Contradicting these findings and theoretical arguments, we show that such fragmentation is not a precondition for sudden and strong increases in patenting. We describe and analyze a patent portfolio race in an industry with highly concentrated patent ownership, namely the newspaper printing machines oligopoly. Triangulating data from patent analysis, interviews, and document research, we find that patent strategy change by one player triggered a patent portfolio race with its main competitor. Implications for managers are that increasing patent output may yield temporary advantages but, as in a price war, implies the risk of a prisoner’s dilemma-type outcome with potentially severe implications for effectiveness and efficiency of the innovation process.
    Keywords: Patent Strategy; Motives to Patent; Intellectual Property; Patent Thickets
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Chang, C-L.; Chen, S-P.; McAleer, M.J.
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of the three main channels of international trade on domestic innovation, namely outward direct investment, inward direct investment (IDI) and exports. The number of Triadic patents serves as a proxy for innovation. The data set contains 37 countries that are considered to be highly competitive in the world market, covering the period 1994 to 2005. The empirical results show that increased exports and outward direct investment are able to stimulate an increase in patent output. In contrast, IDI exhibits a negative relationship with domestic patents. The paper shows that the impact of IDI on domestic innovation is characterized by two forces, and the positive effect of cross-border mergers and acquisitions by foreigners is less than the negative effect of the remaining IDI.
    Keywords: international direct investment;export;triadic patent;outward direct investment;inward direct investment;R&D;negative binomial model
    Date: 2010–09–28
  3. By: Che, XiaoGang; Yang, Yibai; Zhang, Haoyu
    Abstract: We analyse decisions of firms on outsourcing of intermediate goods and R&D investment. If firms choose in-house production, a high profit discount is incurred due to the inefficiency of producing the intermediate goods, whereas if firms search for and outsource to specialists, the production costs decrease, but an imitation risk arises by specialists, who may become competitors in the final-good market. Accordingly, patents are used to mitigate this possibility, which are costly. We show that in outsourcing, all firms outsource to the same specialist to minimise the possibility of successful imitation in equilibrium. Moreover, firms still invest in R\&D activities and outsource their intermediate goods with some patent protection even though the selected specialist put effort into imitation.
    Keywords: Patents; Outsourcing; Imitation.
    JEL: D21 D23
    Date: 2010–09–28
  4. By: Keith Maskus
    Abstract: Prior to the Copenhagen meeting on developing a new framework for climate-change policy there were sharp differences between the positions of developed and developing countries regarding the role of intellectual property rights (IPRs) in fostering international technology transfer (ITT). Expanding effective ITT is central to meeting needs for acquiring and adapting environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) in poor nations. Policymakers in developed economies generally view IPRs, particularly patents and trade secrets, as positive and critical inducements to ITT, while those in developing countries often describe them as sources of market power that impede access to new technology. This report reviews the economic logic of these positions and reviews available empirical evidence. The relationships among IPRs, innovation, ITT and local adaptation are complex and neither of the basic views described captures them well. Policy should be based on a more nuanced view. In that regard, to date there is little systematic evidence that patents and other IPRs restrict access to ESTs, which largely exist in sectors based on mature technologies in which there are numerous substitutes among global competitors. This situation may change as new technologies based on biotechnologies and synthetic fuels, which are likely to be more dependent on patent protection, become more prominent. At present, however, there is little evidence to support significant limitations on the issuance and use of IPRs in this area. In particular, it is unlikely that an international agreement on a compulsory licensing regime could achieve significant ITT benefits, while it may raise considerable costs. However, there may be scope for beneficial differentiation in patent rights, which is the primary subject of the report. Among these elements include ex ante extensions of patent terms tied to licensing commitments, expedited patent examinations in ESTs, investments in patent transparency and landscaping efforts, and facilitation of voluntary patent pools. The report argues that such changes are unlikely to achieve significant gains in innovation and ITT unless they are accompanied by broader policy approaches, including publicly financed fiscal supports for local technology needs and adaptation. Perhaps most important are finding means to raise the global costs of using carbon-based energy resources and improving the climate for investments in poor countries.<BR>Avant le Sommet de Copenhague sur l’élaboration d’un nouveau cadre d’action pour la lutte contre le changement climatique, pays développés et pays en développement nourrissaient des conceptions divergentes quant à l’incidence des droits de propriété intellectuelle (DPI) sur la promotion du transfert international de technologies. Or, pour répondre aux besoins d’acquisition et d’adaptation de technologies écologiquement rationnelles dans les pays pauvres, il est indispensable d’accroître l’efficacité de ces transferts. Les décideurs des pays développés considèrent généralement les DPI, en particulier les brevets et les secrets de fabrique, comme des incitations positives essentielles pour le transfert international de technologies, tandis que ceux des pays en développement les présentent souvent comme des sources de pouvoir de marché qui les empêchent d’accéder aux nouvelles technologies. Le présent rapport examine la logique économique de ces positions et passe en revue les données empiriques disponibles. Entre les DPI, l’innovation, le transfert international de technologies et l’adaptation locale, il existe une relation complexe dont aucune des deux conceptions très générales évoquées précédemment ne rend véritablement compte. Les politiques publiques doivent se fonder sur un point de vue plus nuancé. A ce jour, on ne dispose guère d’éléments solides attestant que les brevets et autres DPI restreignent l’accès aux technologies écologiquement rationnelles, car ces droits concernent essentiellement des secteurs basés sur des technologies matures pour lesquelles la concurrence mondiale offre de nombreux produits de substitution. La donne pourrait changer au fur et à mesure de la montée en puissance de nouvelles technologies faisant appel aux biotechnologies et aux carburants de synthèse, qui risquent d’être davantage protégés par des brevets. Pour l’heure toutefois, il n’y a guère d’arguments incitant à limiter notablement l’attribution et l’utilisation des DPI dans ce domaine. En particulier, un accord international sur un régime de licences obligatoires ne serait probablement pas très efficace en termes de transfert international de technologies, alors qu’il risquerait d’imposer des coûts considérables. En revanche, il serait possible d’apporter diverses modifications aux conditions attachées aux brevets, ce qui constitue le principal thème de ce rapport. Parmi les possibilités figurent la prolongation ex ante de la durée de validité du brevet assortie d’engagements en matière d’octroi de licences, l’examen accéléré des demandes de brevets visant les technologies écologiquement rationnelles, les investissements dans les efforts de transparence et de cartographie des brevets, les incitations à créer des communautés volontaires de brevets. D’après le rapport, des changements de ce type ne sauraient procurer des avantages significatifs en termes d’innovation et de transfert international de technologies s’ils ne s’accompagnent pas de stratégies publiques plus larges, comprenant des aides publiques pour répondre aux besoins en technologies et assurer leur adaptation à l’échelle locale. Mais l’essentiel est peut-être de trouver les moyens d’augmenter le coût d’utilisation des ressources énergétiques à base de carbone et d’améliorer le climat de l’investissement dans les pays pauvres.
    Keywords: environment, innovation, intellectual property rights, technology, climate change, environnement, innovation, droit de propriété intellectuelle, changement climatique, technologies
    JEL: O31 O34 Q27 Q56
    Date: 2010–05–05
  5. By: Carolin Haeussler
    Abstract: This paper investigates how scientists decide whether to share information with their colleagues or not. Detailed data on the decisions of 1,694 bio-scientists allow to detect similarities and differences between academia-based and industry-based scientists. Arguments from social capital theory are applied to explain why individuals share information even at (temporary) personal cost. In both realms, the results suggest that the likelihood of sharing decreases with the competitive value of the requested information. Factors related to social capital, i.e., expected reciprocity and the extent to which a scientist’s community conforms to the norm of open science,either directly affect information-sharing or moderate competitive interest considerations on information-sharing. The effect depends on the system to which a scientist belongs.
    Keywords: information-sharing; social capital; reciprocity; open science; bio-sciences; IP protection mechanisms
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Kenneth G. Huang; Fiona E. Murray
    Abstract: We re-conceptualize the role of science policy makers, envisioning and illustrating their move from being simple investors in scientific projects to entrepreneurs who create the conditions for entrepreneurial experiments and initiate them. We argue that reframing science policy around the notion of conducting entrepreneurial experiments – experiments that increase the diversity of technical, organizational and institutional arrangements in which scientific research is conducted – can provide policy makers with a wider repertoire of effective interventions. To illustrate the power of this approach, we analyze the Human Genome Project (HGP) as a set of successful, entrepreneurial experiments in organizational and institutional innovation. While not designed as such, the HGP was an experiment in funding a science project across a variety of organizational settings, including seven public and one private (Celera) research centers. We assess the major characteristics and differences between these organizational choices, using a mix of qualitative and econometric analyses to examine their impact on scientific progress. The planning and direction of the Human Genome Project show that policy makers can use the levers of entrepreneurial experimentation to transform scientific progress, much as entrepreneurs have transformed economic progress.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurial Experiments; Science Policy; Human Genome Project
    Date: 2010
  7. By: Arthur M Michalek; Alan D Hutson; Camille P Wicher; Donald L Trump
    Abstract: The consequences of scientific misconduct are far-ranging and the costs associated with their investigation are substantial. It is possible to estimate the cost (direct and indirect) of investigating a single case of scientific misconduct. For a specific investigation for which costs were estimated for all phases of the review process, direct cost estimates approached US$525,000. For an individual country, the total costs to associated with the review of all cases of scientific misconduct, both reported and not reported to the Office of Research Integrity, are likely to be exponentially higher.
    Keywords: reserch, investigation, total costs, misconduct,
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Uday Bhanu Sinha
    Abstract: The paper deals with the issue of information sharing in a Cournot duopoly by an innovating firm in the face of a merger with its rival. The innovating firm would share information about the cost realization with its rival provided the market size is relatively small or, the R&D technology is relatively more efficient in a medium market size. However, in a large market, or in a medium market size with less efficient R&D technology, the innovating firm does not share information with its rival. They also show that the social welfare may be higher under incomplete information regime. [Working Paper No. 145]
    Keywords: Information sharing, market size, R&D, merger and welfare
    Date: 2010

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