nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2012‒03‒28
eleven papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. Academic patent value and knowledge transfer in the UK: Does patent ownership matter? By Valerio STERZI (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113 & KITES, Bocconi University)
  2. The globalization of technology in emerging markets: a gravity model on the determinants of international patent collaborations By Fabio MONTOBBIO (University of Turin & KITES, Bocconi University, Milan); Valerio STERZI (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113 & KITES, Bocconi University, Milan)
  3. Compensation Structure and the Creation of Exploratory Knowledge in Technology Firms By Cui, Victor; Ding, Waverly W.; Yanadori, Yoshio
  4. Innovation Beyond Patents: Technological Complexity as a Protection against Imitation By Henry, Emeric; Ruiz-Aliseda, Francisco
  5. Complementary assets, patent thickets and hold-up threats: Do transaction costs undermine investments in innovation? By Schwiebacher, Franz
  6. International Harmonization of the Patent-Issuing Rules By Kaz Miyagiwa; Yuka Ohno
  7. Deal or No Deal? Licensing Negotiations in Standard-Setting Organizations By Gilbert, Richard J.
  8. Offshoring high-skilled jobs: EU multinationals and domestic employment of inventors By Abramovsky, Laura; Griffith, Rachel; Miller, Helen
  9. The Effects of Internationalization on Innovation: Firm-Level Evidence for Transition Economies By Martijn A. Boermans; Hein Roelfsema
  10. University Technology Transfer: How (in-)efficient are French universities? By Claudia Curi; Cinzia Daraio; Maria Patrick Llerena
  11. Which form of venture capital is most supportive of innovation? By Bertoni, Fabio; Tykvová, Tereza

  1. By: Valerio STERZI (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113 & KITES, Bocconi University)
    Abstract: This paper deals with an issue which is particularly relevant in the literature on IPR and university-industry knowledge transfer: is the ownership structure of academic inventions relevant for patent quality and the efficiency of the knowledge transfer process? This question is also particularly significant in Europe where some countries have followed the Bayh-Dole Act example in the USA to increase the involvement level of universities in IP management. The paper uses a novel dataset of academic inventors in the UK, which includes university patents (i.e. patents owned by universities) and corporate patents (i.e. patents signed by academic scientists but owned by private companies) in the period 1990-2001. The UK is an interesting case to study due to the tradition of university involvement in IP management as it was one of the first countries to implement the university ownership model. The main results may be summarised as follows.\r\n(1) Controlling for observable patent and scientist characteristics, corporate patents received more citations than university patents in the first three years after filing, but (2) this difference is less significant when considering a longer time window. However, (3) there is no knowledge fertilisation across public (university) and private institutions: university patents mainly cite other university patents and the same reasoning applies to corporate patents. Moreover (4) knowledge flows from university patents are even more geographically localised than those from corporate patents. Finally, (5) among scientists’ characteristics, a professor’s scientific quality and his patenting experience seem to be correlated with patent value. From a policy prospective, the results in points (1), (2) and (3) cast some doubts on the role of university ownership as an instrument to foster and facilitate knowledge transfer between academia and industry and raise serious questions about the effect of policies towards increasing the role of technology transfer offices in managing academic patents.
    Keywords: Academic patents; Technology transfer; Patent value; Citations
    JEL: L33 O33 O34
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Fabio MONTOBBIO (University of Turin & KITES, Bocconi University, Milan); Valerio STERZI (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113 & KITES, Bocconi University, Milan)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants of different types of international technological collaborations among patents’ inventors between emerging and advanced countries. Technological collaborations generate knowledge flows between inventors through interpersonal and face to face contacts. We use US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) patent applications for a panel of eleven emerging economies and seven advanced countries (90-04) and a novel database that exploits information on companies’ country of origin. We estimate the impact of geographical distance and various economic and institutional variables using the Poisson pseudo-maximum likelihood (PPML) and show that results vary according to the type of collaborations considered and to the country of origin (emerging vs. advanced) of the involved companies. Geographical distance affects international technological collaborations only when the applicant’s ownership is in the emerging country. Fixed effect estimates show that stronger IPRs positively affect international technological collaborations only when stemming from subsidiaries of multinational firms.
    Keywords: Knowledge flows, Emerging Countries, Patents, Inventors, Intellectual Property Rights
    JEL: O30 O10 O11
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Cui, Victor; Ding, Waverly W.; Yanadori, Yoshio
    Abstract: Given the importance of exploration in a firm’s overall innovation program, scholars have sought to understand organizational factors that give rise to exploration-oriented innovations. We propose theory and empirical evidence that relates firms’ use of financial incentives to their exploratory innovation performance. We expect that a larger proportion of long-term incentives in R&D employee compensation should be positively associated with the creation of exploratory innovation in a firm. In addition, we propose that a higher level of horizontal pay dispersion is negatively associated with the creation of exploratory innovation. We examine innovations reflected in the patents of a unique six-year, unbalanced panel dataset of 94 high-technology firms in the U.S. Empirical results confirm that firms with high level of horizontal pay dispersion have less exploratory patent innovations. However, surprisingly, firms that pay their R&D employees a higher proportion of long-term financial incentives in total compensation have lower level of exploratory innovation. This implies the possibility that popular longterm incentive plans in high-technology sectors (e.g., stock option plans) have failed to achieve their intended goals in practice. We discuss factors that might moderate the negative impact of long-term incentives on exploratory innovation.
    Keywords: Organizational Behavior and Theory
    Date: 2011–03–30
  4. By: Henry, Emeric; Ruiz-Aliseda, Francisco
    Abstract: A large portion of innovators do not patent their inventions. This is a relative puzzle since innovators are often perceived to be at the mercy of imitators in the absence of legal protection. In practice, innovators however invest actively in making their products technologically hard to reverse-engineer. We consider the dynamics of imitation and investment in such protection technologies, both by the innovator and by imitators. We show that it can justify high level of profits beyond patents and can account for the differences across sectors in the propensity to patent. Surprisingly, in general, the protection technologies that yield the highest profits for the innovator are expensive and do not protect well. Our model also allows us to draw conclusions on the dynamics of mobility of researchers in innovative industries.
    Keywords: complexity; dynamic games; imitation; innovation
    JEL: C73 O31 O32 O33 O34
    Date: 2012–03
  5. By: Schwiebacher, Franz
    Abstract: Innovation is commercialization of technology. Imperfections in markets for technology should leave marks on physical investments for innovation. Two types of transaction costs could affect innovative investments: royality stacking and hold-up threats. Backward references in firm's patent portfolio indicate potential technology suppliers. I find a negative effect of ownership fragmentation on investments related to innovation for firms with small patent portfolios. Hold-up threats are credible when upstream patentees have less specific capital sunk than innovating firms. Differences in fixed capital stocks between downstream firms and upstream patentees negatively affect investments in innovation for firms with large patent portfolios. These effects are specific to investments in innovation. There are no comparable effects on investments in R&D or residual physical investments. The effects of patent thickets on innovation are thus not uniform. They depend on the characteristics of the downstream firm. --
    Keywords: Market for Technology,Complementary Assets,Transaction Costs,Patent Thickets
    JEL: O31 O34
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Kaz Miyagiwa; Yuka Ohno
    Abstract: With the America Invents Act of 2011, the U.S. changed its patent-issuing rule from first-to-invent to first-to-file, the international norm. We investigate the effect of such a policy change in a two-country model of R&D competition for two sequential (basic and final) inventions. We find that a switch never speeds up basic research. A delay is more likely especially in industries where the final product generates more value in the U.S. Simulations show that a delay in basic research also retards final invention, decreasing world welfare.
    Date: 2012–03
  7. By: Gilbert, Richard J.
    Abstract: Technical standards benefit consumers and producers by facilitating productadoption, promoting compatible solutions, and helping to create anecosystem of products and services in which competition can thrive. However,standards also may create opportunities for the exercise of market power. Owners of patents with claims that are essential to a standard may “hold up†firms or consumers that are “locked-in†to a standard by charging high royalties for the use of products that comply with the standard. This licensor (or seller) market power3 arises “ex post,†i.e., after firms and consumers have made investments that are specific to the standard.
    Keywords: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Legal Professions and Studies, Intellectual Property Law, Economics
    Date: 2011–12–01
  8. By: Abramovsky, Laura; Griffith, Rachel; Miller, Helen
    Abstract: The research activities of multinational firms is increasingly mobile raising concerns about displacement of high-skilled employment in headquarter countries. We estimate of the impact offshoring inventors has on firms' use of inventors at home using within firm variation across industries. We use a instrumental variables to tackle possible endogeneity and identify robust bounds on the estimate. We cannot rule out the possibility that foreign inventors displace home inventors, but our main result suggests that a 10% increase in the number of inventors abroad results in a 1.9% increase in the number of inventors at home.
    Keywords: innovation and patents; multinational firms; offshoring
    JEL: F21 F23 H30 O30
    Date: 2012–02
  9. By: Martijn A. Boermans; Hein Roelfsema
    Abstract: It is well-documented that international enterprises are more productive. Only few studies have explored the effect of internationalization on productivity and innovation at the firm-level. Using propensity score matching we analyze the causal effects of internationalization on innovation in 10 transition economies. We distinguish between three types of internationalization: exporting, FDI, and international outsourcing. We find that internationalization causes higher levels of innovation. More specifically, we show that (i) exporting results in more R&D, higher sales from product innovation, and an increase in the number of international patents (ii) outward FDI increases R&D and international patents (iii) international outsourcing leads to higher sales from product innovation. The paper provides empirical support to the theoretical literature on heterogeneous firms in international trade that argues that middle income countries gain from trade liberalization through increases in firm productivity and innovative capabilities.
    Keywords: Firm heterogeneity, Internationalization, Innovation, Transition economies
    JEL: D22 F14 F23 O12
    Date: 2012–03
  10. By: Claudia Curi (Banque Centrale du Luxembourg); Cinzia Daraio (Dipartimento di Informatica e Sistemistica "Antonio Ruberti" Sapienza, Universita' di Roma); Maria Patrick Llerena (University of Strasbourg, BETA (Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée))
    Abstract: This paper presents the first assessment of the efficiency of the technology transfer operated by the French university system and its main determinants. The analysis is based on a detailed and original database of 51 TTOs, categorized by type of university they belong to, over the period 2003-2007. Overall, we find a low level of efficiency and both intra-category and inter-categories efficiency variation. The analysis of determinants showed that French TTOs efficiency depends extensively on the nature of the category (with universities specialised in science and engineering being the most efficient ones), on institutional and environmental characteristics. We found that both the seniority of TTO and size of the university have a positive effect. In terms of environmental variables, the intensity of R&D activity (both private and public) has a positive impact; however, in terms of growth rate, only the Private R&D activity seems to be the main driver. Lastly, we find that the presence of a university-related hospital is detrimental for the efficiency. An extended discussion of the results within the existing literature is also offered.
    Keywords: Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs), French University System, Technical Efficiency, DEA, Bootstrap, Regional Growth
    Date: 2012
  11. By: Bertoni, Fabio; Tykvová, Tereza
    Abstract: Although there seems to be consensus in the literature that venture capital investors increase the innovation output of their portfolio companies, there is little evidence about how investor type (governmental vs. private) and transaction structure (syndicated vs. non-syndicated) moderate this impact. Using a sample of 865 young biotech and pharmaceutical companies from seven European countries, we investigate which form of venture capital is most supportive of innovation. Our results suggest that in companies financed by syndicates and by private venture capital investors, the innovation output increases significantly faster than in non-venture-backed companies. The most supportive form is a heterogeneous syndicate (i.e., consisting of both types of venture capital investors) led by a private investor. --
    Keywords: innovation,patents,private venture capital investors,governmental venture capital investors,syndication,biotech and pharmaceutical companies,Europe
    JEL: G24 H0 O3
    Date: 2012

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