nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2011‒04‒23
ten papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. Incidence and Growth of Patent Thickets - The Impact of Technological Opportunities and Complexity By Georg von Graevenitz; Stefan Wagner; Dietmar Harhoff
  2. Intellectual Property at the Firm-Level in the UK: The Oxford Firm-Level Intellectual Property Database By Christian Helmers; Mark Rogers; Philipp Schautschick
  3. Exploring the Sources of Firm-level Scale Economies in R&D: Complementary assets, internal and external knowledge inflows, and inventor team size By NAGAOKA Sadao; OWAN Hideo
  4. Artistic Creation and Intellectual Property: A Professional Career Approach By Francisco Alcalá; Miguel González-Maestre
  5. Measuring the “Ideas”: Evidence from a New International Patent Database By Claude Diebolt; Karine Pellier
  6. A model of music piracy with popularity-dependent copying costs By Florian Schuett; Amedeo Piolatto
  7. On the role of general purpose technologies within the Marshall-Jacobs controversy: The case of nanotechnologies By Menz, Nina; Ott, Ingrid
  8. Parallel Imports and Mandatory Substitution Reform - A Kick or A Muff for Price Competition in Pharmaceuticals? By Granlund, David; Köksal , Miyase Yesim
  9. The Economics of Life ++ - Reflections on the Term of Copyright By Ejan Mackaay
  10. Do Market Leaders Lead in Business Process Innovation? The Case(s) of E-Business Adoption By Kristina McElheran

  1. By: Georg von Graevenitz (University of Munich); Stefan Wagner (University of Munich); Dietmar Harhoff (University of Munich)
    Abstract: We investigate incidence and evolution of patent thickets. Our empirical analysis is based on a theoretical model of patenting in complex and discrete technologies. The model captures how competition for patent portfolios and complementarity of patents affect patenting incentives. We show that lower technological opportunities increase patenting incentives in complex technologies while they decrease incentives in discrete technologies. Also, more competitors increase patenting incentives in complex technologies and reduce them in discrete technologies. To test these predictions a new measure of the density of patent thickets is introduced. European patent citations are used to construct measures of fragmentation and technological opportunity. Our empirical analysis is based on a panel capturing patenting behavior of 2074 firms in 30 technology areas over 15 years. GMM estimation results confirm the predictions of our theoretical model. The results show that patent thickets exist in 9 out of 30 technology areas. We find that decreased technological opportunities are a surprisingly strong driver of patent thicket growth.
    Keywords: Patenting, Patent thickets, Patent portfolio races, Complexity, Technological Opportunities
    JEL: L13 L20 O34
    Date: 2011–04
  2. By: Christian Helmers; Mark Rogers; Philipp Schautschick
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview of a new database that contains intellectual property data - in the form of patents and trademarks - for the population of firms registered in the UK. The paper discusses the principal challenges involved in the construction of this integrated database and provides an explanation of the approach taken to address these issues. We employ the integrated dataset to provide descriptive evidence on the firm-level use of intellectual property - including patents and trademarks - in the UK over the period 2000-2007.
    Keywords: Firm, patents, trademarks, matching
    JEL: L25 O12
    Date: 2011
  3. By: NAGAOKA Sadao; OWAN Hideo
    Abstract: This paper explores the sources of firm-level scale economies in R&D, based on unique project-level data from a new large-scale survey of Japanese inventors, matched with firm-level data. We focus on four sources: complementary assets, internal and external knowledge inflows, and inventor team size. Major findings include: (1) a larger firm tends to generate more patents from a research project but not more valuable patents, controlling for the objectives and the R&D investment (inventive efforts) for the project; (2) the sales of a firm rather than its R&D (or patent stocks) significantly affects the number of patents from the project, suggesting that the main source of such scale economy is not internal knowledge inflow but "appropriation advantage" of a large firm; (3) an inventor in a large firm often gains important knowledge for the project from internal knowledge inflow as well as from scientific literature. However, the performance of R&D-for which internal knowledge is important-tends to be low; and (4) the size of inventor teams increases with firm size and technological diversity. A larger team size is significantly associated with higher patent value and, as such, the size of the inventor team is one source of firm-level scale economies.
    Date: 2011–04
  4. By: Francisco Alcalá; Miguel González-Maestre
    Date: 2011–04–14
  5. By: Claude Diebolt (BETA/CNRS, Université de Strasbourg, France.); Karine Pellier (BETA/CNRS, Université de Strasbourg, France.)
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Florian Schuett (University of Tilburg); Amedeo Piolatto (Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: Anecdotal evidence and recent empirical work suggest that musicpiracy has differential effects on artists depending on their popularity.Existing theoretical literature cannot explain such differential effectssince it is exclusively concerned with single-firm models. We present amodel with two types of artists who differ in their popularity. Weassume that the consumers' costs of illegal downloads increase withthe scarcity of a recording, and that scarcity is negatively related to theartist's popularity. Moreover, we allow for a second source of revenuesfor artists apart from CD sales. These alternative revenues depend onan artist's recognition as measured by the number of consumers whoobtain his recording either by purchasing the original or downloadinga copy. Our findings for the more popular artist generalize a resultfound by Gayer and Shy (2006) who show that piracy is beneficial tothe artist when alternative revenues are important. In our model,however, this does not carry over to the less popular artist, who isoften harmed by piracy even when alternative revenues are important.We conclude that piracy tends to reduce musical variety.
    Keywords: piracy, file sharing, heterogeneous artists.
    JEL: L82 K42
    Date: 2011–03
  7. By: Menz, Nina; Ott, Ingrid
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of nanotechnologies as a general purpose technology for regional development. Due to pervasiveness, nanotechnologies may be utilized in diverse applications thereby providing the basis for both localization and urbanization externalities. We carry out patent and publication analyses for the city state of Hamburg during the period 1990-2010. We find evidence that nanotechnologies are advanced in the context of regional knowledge bases and follow up prevailing specialization patterns. As nanotechnologies develop both industry specific and city specific externalities become effective leading to specialization deepening and specialization widening which both are functions of the increasing nano-knowledge base. --
    Keywords: general purpose technology,nanotechnology,specialization,diversification,Marshall-Jacobs controversy,patent and publication analysis
    JEL: R11 O31
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Granlund, David (Department of Economics, Umeå University); Köksal , Miyase Yesim (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law)
    Abstract: What has been the effect of competition from parallel imports on prices of locally-sourced on-patent drugs? Did the 2002 Swedish mandatory substitution reform increase this competition? To answer these questions, we carried out difference-in-differences estimation on monthly data for a panel of all on-patent prescription drugs sold in Sweden during the 40 months from January 2001 through April 2004. On average, facing competition from parallel imports caused a 15-17% fall in price. While the reform increased the effect of competition from parallel imports, it was only by 0.9%. The reform, however, did increase the effect of therapeutic competition by 1.6%.
    Keywords: parallel imports; pharmaceutical drugs; price competition; reference pricing; therapeutic competition
    JEL: I11 L51 L65
    Date: 2011–04–13
  9. By: Ejan Mackaay
    Abstract: Copyright, and indeed all intellectual property, reflects a compromise between the need for reward on creations we see – by reserving them to the creator – and the need to let information freely flow so as to permit further creations to emerge with as few encumbrances as possible. Over the past quarter century or so, all parameters of copyright have been moved towards more protection, disturbing the underlying compromise. The term of protection extends well beyond what is practically useful for the vast majority of creators, much as it may serve the needs of a small number of large players who hold important older copyrights still producing revenue. This paradoxical situation results from a few founding principles considered untouchable in the countries members of the Berne Convention: it is automatically obtained, without formality and for a uniform and rather lengthy term. If we want to redress the balance underlying copyright, we may have to call these principles into question and lead creators individually to reveal the value they attach to their right by renewing it, allowing it to lapse into the public domain when they no longer value it. Whilst this would reintroduce formalities into the structure of copyright, technological advances may make these less of a burden than they were at the time of their abolition. Alternatively, one might consider an interpretation of equitable exceptions to copyright (such as fair use and fair dealing) so as to expand them gradually as the copyright in question ages. Such approaches would have the fortunate effect of avoiding that lobbying by the happy few needlessly locks up culture for most of us. <P>Le droit d'auteur, et à vrai dire tous les droits intellectuels, reflète un compromis entre la nécessité de faire miroiter au créateur une rémunération pour les créations que l'on voit, et la nécessité de laisser l'information circuler librement de manière à permettre à de nouvelles créations d'émerger avec aussi peu d'obstacles que possible. Au cours du dernier quart de siècle ou à peu près, tous les paramètres du droit d'auteur ont été déplacés vers plus de protection, perturbant l'équilibre sous-jacent. La durée de protection s'étend bien au-delà de ce qui est nécessaire en pratique pour la très vaste majorité des créateurs, même si elle sert bien les besoins d'une infime minorité de grands joueurs détenant des droits d'auteur qui ont un certain âge mais continuent à produire des revenus. Cette situation résulte des principes tenus pour immuables dans les pays membres de l'Union de Berne : le droit est obtenu automatiquement, sans formalité et pour une période uniforme et de longue durée. Pour redresser l'équilibre sous-jacent au droit d'auteur, il faudra remettre en question ces principes et amener les créateurs individuellement à révéler la valeur qu'ils attachent à leur droit en le renouvelant, permettant que le droit glisse dans le domaine public s'ils n'y attachent plus de valeur suffisante. S'il est vrai qu'une telle approche réintroduirait des formalités dans le droit d'auteur, les avances techniques intervenues depuis leur abolition rendent l'accomplissement de ces formalités moins onéreux que dans le temps. Alternativement, on pourrait envisager une interprétation des exceptions équitables au droit d'auteur, comme le fair use ou l'utilisation équitable, de manière à les étendre à mesure que le droit d'auteur en question prend de l'âge. De telles approches auraient l'heureux effet d'éviter que le lobbying par les happy few entrainerait le verrouillage inutile de beaucoup de culture pour le commun des mortels.
    Keywords: Intellectual property, copyright, term, fair dealing, Propriété intellectuelle, droit d'auteur, durée, utilisation équitable.
    Date: 2011–04–01
  10. By: Kristina McElheran
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between market position and the adoption of IT-enabled process innovations. Prior research has focused overwhelmingly on product innovation and garnered mixed empirical support. I extend the literature into the understudied area of business process innovation, developing a framework for classifying innovations based on the complexity, interdependence, and customer impact of the underlying business process. I test the framework’s predictions in the context of ebuying and e-selling adoption. Leveraging detailed U.S. Census data, I find robust evidence that market leaders were significantly more likely to adopt the incremental innovation of e-buying but commensurately less likely to adopt the more radical practice of e-selling. The findings highlight the strategic significance of adjustment costs and co-invention capabilities in technology adoption, particularly as businesses grow more dependent on new technologies for their operational and competitive performance.
    Date: 2011–04

This nep-ipr issue is ©2011 by Roland Kirstein. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.