nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2014‒05‒17
twelve papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Universita' del Piemonte Orientale Amedeo Avogadro

  1. Examiner amendments to applications to the european patent office: Procedures, knowledge bases and country specificities By Azagra-Caro,Joaquín M.; Tur,Elena M.
  2. The importance (or not) of patents to UK firms By Professor Bronwyn Hall
  3. Trade and Intellectual Property Rights in the Agricultural Seed Sector By Derek Eaton
  4. Access to universities’ public knowledge: Who’s more regionalist? By Acosta,Manuel; Azagra-Caro,Joaquín M.; Coronado,Daniel
  5. Innovation and IPRs in the Agricultural Seed Sector. By Derek Eaton
  6. Forward Markets to Spur Innovation By Linda Cohen; Amihai Glazer
  7. Innovation in the Service Sector and the Role of Patents and Trade Secrets (Japanese) By MORIKAWA Masayuki
  8. Knowledge Spillovers from Renewable energy Technologies, Lessons from patent citations By Joelle Noailly; Victoria Shestalova
  9. Collaboration in innovation between foreign subsidiaries and local universities: evidence from Spain By Guimón, José; Salazar, Juan Carlos
  11. Measuring the UK’s Digital Economy With Big Data By Dr Anna Rosso; Dr Max Nathan
  12. Musicians on Jamendo: A New Model for the Music Industry? By Stephen Bazen; Laurence Bouvard; Jean-Benoît Zimmermann

  1. By: Azagra-Caro,Joaquín M.; Tur,Elena M.
    Abstract: The geography of knowledge flows has shown that the probability of a patent applicant rather than the examiner originating a citation depends on differences between citing and cited countries. How the characteristics of the citing country affect that probability has received less attention. Using European Patent Office (EPO) data of over 3,500,000 citations (1997-2007), we find that the probability of applicant citation is higher as national economic and scientific strengths increase, if applicants and examiners come from the same country and if the country belongs to EPO. This ‘country club’ effect is comparable to that found for US Patent and Trademark Office.
    Keywords: citations, Knowledge flows, knowledge spillovers, national biases
    JEL: O30 O33 O34
    Date: 2014–05–15
  2. By: Professor Bronwyn Hall
    Abstract: � Abstract A surprisingly small number of innovative firms use the patent system. In the UK, the share of firms patenting among those reporting that they have innovated is about 4%. Survey data from the same firms support the idea that they do not consider patents or other forms of registered IP as important as informal IP for protecting inventions. We show that there are a number of explanations for these findings: most firms are SMEs, many innovations are new to the firm, but not to the market, and many sectors are not patent active. We find evidence pointing to a positive association between patenting and innovative performance measured as turnover due to innovation, but not between patenting and subsequent employment growth. The analysis relies on a new integrated dataset for the UK that combines a range of data sources into a panel at the enterprise level.
    Date: 2013–05
  3. By: Derek Eaton (The Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) has continued to be fiercely debated between North and South, par- ticularly with respect to its provisions for the agricultural sector. Article 27.3(b) of the TRIPS Agreement requires WTO member countries to offer some form of intellectual property protection for new plant varieties, either in the form of patents (common in the U.S.) or plant breeder's rights (PBR). This paper analyzes the effects of the introduction of PBRs in almost 80 importing countries on the value of exports of agricultural seeds and planting material from 10 exporting EU countries, including all principal traditional exporters of seeds, as well as the US. A dynamic penalized fixed effects quan- tile regression model, based on a general specication for the gravity model for international trade, is estimated using panel data covering 19 years (1989-2007) of export flows in order to assess the effect of International Convention on the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) membership on seed imports. Basing inference on the panel bootstrap, we find no signicant effect from UPOV membership on seed imports.
    Keywords: agriculture, inputs, trade, intellectual property rights
    JEL: F13 O34 Q17
    Date: 2013–07–25
  4. By: Acosta,Manuel; Azagra-Caro,Joaquín M.; Coronado,Daniel
    Abstract: This paper tracks university-to-firm patent citations rather than the more usual patent-to-patent or paper-to-patent citations. It explains regional and non-regional citations as a function of firms’ absorptive capacity and universities’ production capacity in the region rather than explaining citations as a function of distance between citing and cited regions. Using a dataset of European Union regions for the years 1997-2007, we find that fostering university R&D capacity increases the attractiveness of the local university’s knowledge base to firms in the region, but also reduces wider searches for university knowledge. Increasing the absorptive capacity of local business encourages firms to access university knowledge from outside the region.
    Keywords: Knowledge flows, patent citations, spillovers, regions
    JEL: O31 O33 R12
    Date: 2014–05–15
  5. By: Derek Eaton (The Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: The trade-offs involved in the extent of appropriability conferred by intellectual property right (IPR) protection to innovators remains an area with many unanswered questions. This paper considers the case of IPRs for product innovations where the product is an intermediate good used to produce a final consumer good. Producers of the final good purchase an innovation from a monopolist, represented in a vertical product differentiation framework. The innovation is subject to an IPR for which the extent of appropriability is determined by a policy maker. The analysis reveals some novel aspects of the traditional innovation versus diffusion tradeoff. More productive producers of the final good benefit from stricter appropriability and the resulting higher level of innovation. Less productive producers, and also consumers, are better off with a moderate level of appropriability. The paper is motivated by the agricultural sector in which an innovator uses genetic resources to produce new crop varieties to be marketed to a farm sector that displays heterogeneity in its ability to profit from the innovation. The scope of the exclusive rights granted over plant varieties has increased in various countries over the past four decades, partly as a result of the TRIPS Agreement, and has been the subject of much policy debate at international, as well as national, levels, partly given potential implications for food security. For these reasons, the model is extended to a two country setting consisting of North and South, which highlights both the interest of the South in maintaining lower levels of appropriability, but also the pressure from farmers in the North for the South to raise its standards. This would not necessarily benefit global consumers.
    Keywords: innovation, intellectual property, agriculture, vertical product differentiation, input markets, trade.
    JEL: Q16 L13 F12
    Date: 2013–05–01
  6. By: Linda Cohen (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine); Amihai Glazer (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)
    Abstract: This paper presents a mechanism inducing costly research and innovation in the absence of intellectual property rights. The mechanism relies on forward contracting between the provider of the innovation and firms or individuals that benefit from the pecuniary effects of the innovation, rather than from its direct use. Applied to innovation as a non-discrete public good, the mechanism resolves time consistency, agency, and free-riding problems, and provides an incentive for ex post efficient pricing.
    Keywords: Innovation; Public goods; Mechanism design; Patents; Forward contracts
    Date: 2014–04
  7. By: MORIKAWA Masayuki
    Abstract: This paper, using Japanese firm-level data, presents findings about innovative activities in the service sector and the role of patents and trade secrets on innovations. According to the analysis, first, service firms have less product innovations than do manufacturing firms, but the productivity of innovative service firms is very high. Second, service firms have a low propensity of holding patents, but the holding of trade secrets is comparable to that of the manufacturing firms. Third, patents and trade secrets have positive relationships with product innovations, and the effects are quantitatively similar in magnitude both in the manufacturing and the service sectors. On the other hand, a positive relationship between trade secrets and process innovations is found only in the manufacturing sector. These results suggest a pivotal role of the patent system and trade secret law on innovation and productivity growth of the service sector.
    Date: 2014–04
  8. By: Joelle Noailly; Victoria Shestalova (The Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: This paper studies the knowledge spillovers generated by renewable energy technologies, unraveling the technological fields that benefit from knowledge developed in storage, solar, wind, marine, hydropower, geothermal, waste and biomass energy technologies. Using citation data of patents in renewable technologies at 17 European countries over the 1978-2006 period, the analysis examines the relative importance of knowledge flows within the same specific technological field (intra-technology spillovers), to other technologies in the field of power-generation (inter-technology spillovers), and to technologies unrelated to power-generation (external-technology spillovers). The results show significant differences across various renewable technologies. While wind technologies mainly find applications within their own technological field, a large share of innovations in solar energy and storage technologies find applications outside the field of power generation, suggesting that solar technologies are more general and, therefore, may have a higher value for society. Finally, the knowledge from waste and biomass technologies is mainly exploited by fossil-fuel power-generating technologies. The paper discusses the implications of these results for the design of R&D policies for renewable energy innovation.
    Keywords: Renewable energy, innovation, patents, knowledge spillovers, technology policy.
    Date: 2013–12–01
  9. By: Guimón, José (Department of Economic Structure and Development Economics, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid); Salazar, Juan Carlos (Department of Economic Structure and Development Economics, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
    Abstract: Collaboration between foreign subsidiaries and universities is relevant for multinational companies that aim at absorbing knowledge from abroad, as well as for policymakers attempting to maximize the spillovers associated with FDI. In this paper, we explore how multinational companies collaborate with universities in the foreign countries where they locate and provide new empirical evidence for Spain as a host country. Using a probit model with panel data from the Community Innovation Survey, we failed to find significant differences between the propensity of foreign subsidiaries and comparable Spanish firms to collaborate with universities. Subsequently, building on a new survey and five case studies, we were able to relate the scale and scope of such collaborations with the dynamic mandates of foreign subsidiaries in global innovation networks and to explore further the variety of motivations that drive collaboration.
    Keywords: collaboration in innovation; FDI; foreign subsidiaries; global innovation networks; multinational companies; open innovation; spillovers; university-industry collaboration
    JEL: F23 O32
    Date: 2014–05–07
  10. By: Antonio Cubel (Universidad de Valencia (Spain)); Vicente Esteve (Universidad de Valencia, Universidad de Alcalá and Universidad de La Laguna (Spain)); M. Teresa Sanchis (Universidad de Valencia and Instituto Figuerola (Spain)); Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis (Universidad de Valencia and ERI-CES (Spain))
    Abstract: This paper analyses the relationship between total factor productivity (TFP) and innovation-related variables during the second half of the 20th century. We perform this analysis for several European countries (France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Spain) and the U.S., extending Coe and Helpman’s (1995) empirical specification to include human capital. We use a new dataset of patents data for the past 150 years to calculate the stock of knowledge using the perpetual inventory method. Our time series empirical analysis confirms the heterogeneous relationship between innovation variables (domestic stock of knowledge, imports of knowledge, and human capital) and productivity. Our results reveal the extent to which observed differences in technology adoption patterns and the levels of endowment of such resources can explain differences in TFP dynamics across countries. The estimated coefficients confirm the considerable gap that still exists between the European countries and the U.S. in innovation-related variables. Furthermore, we obtain a finding that may have important implications for innovation policies: the higher the level of investment in human capital, the higher the level of investment in domestic innovation, and the higher the response of TFP to a 1% increase in any of the aforementioned variables.
    Date: 2014–05
  11. By: Dr Anna Rosso; Dr Max Nathan
    Abstract: KEY FINDINGS • The digital economy is poorly served by conventional definitions and datasets. Big data methods can provide richer, more informative and more up to date analysis. • Using Growth Intelligence data on a benchmarking sample, we find that the digital economy is substantially larger than conventional estimates suggest. On our preferred measure, it comprises almost 270,000 active companies in the UK (14.4% of all companies as of August 2012). This compares to 167,000 companies (10.0%) when the Government’s conventional SIC-based definitions are used. • SIC-based definitions of the digital economy miss out a large number of companies in business and domestic software, architectural activities, engineering, and engineering-related scientific and technical consulting, among other sectors. • Companies in the digital economy have a similar average age to those outside it. Shares of start-ups (companies up to three years old) are very similar. Given the popular image of the digital economy as start-up dominated, this may be surprising to some. As digital platforms and tools spread out into the wider economy, and become pervasive in a greater number of sectors, so the set of ‘digital’ companies widens. • Inflows of digital companies into the economy have always been relatively small, given its sectoral share. However, using our new definitions of the digital economy, inflow levels are substantially higher. • As far as we can tell, digital economy companies have lower average revenues than the rest of the economy, but the median digital company has higher revenues than the median company elsewhere in the economy. Revenue growth rates are also higher for digital companies. However, these results come from a sub-sample of older, likely stronger-performing companies, so there is some positive selection at work. • Switching from SIC-based to Growth Intelligence derived measures substantially increases the digital economy’s share of employment, from around 5% to 11% of jobs. Digital economy companies also show higher average employment than companies in the rest of the economy (this reverses when we use conventional SIC-based measures of the digital economy). Looking at median employees per firm, the digital/non-digital differences are always a lot smaller. Our employment results should also be treated with some care, as not all companies report their workforce information. • The digital economy is highly concentrated in a few locations around the UK: Growth Intelligence software provides a fresh look at these patterns. In terms of raw firm counts, London dominates the pictures, but Manchester, Birmingham, Brighton and locations in the Greater South East (such as Reading and Crawley) also feature in the top 10. Location quotients show the extent of local clustering, which for the UK’s digital economy is highest for areas in the Western arc around London, such as Basingstoke, Newbury and Milton Keynes. Areas like Aberdeen and Middlesbrough also show high concentrations of digital economy activity. Report - short version
    Date: 2013–07
  12. By: Stephen Bazen (AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole Centrale Marseille (ECM)); Laurence Bouvard (AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole Centrale Marseille (ECM)); Jean-Benoît Zimmermann (AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole Centrale Marseille (ECM))
    Abstract: Jamendo is a website for the legal, free downloading of music. This platform of "free" online music, the biggest in the world, operates on the basis of Creative Commons licences. The survey presented here was carried out on a sample of 767 artists (solo musicians or groups) who are members of Jamendo. Our purpose in carrying out this survey was to identify as precisely as possible the characteristics of the artists present on Jamendo and the type of CC licence they choose in order to better understand the motives for their choices. To go further, the question is that of the Jamendo business model from the artists' point of view. Does Jamendo simply represent a great opportunity for amateurs to showcase their music and win an audience? Or is Jamendo also capable of attracting professional artists, for whom earning an income from their music is essential ? To put it another way, the underlying question is whether platforms like Jamendo constitute a possible alternative model for the music industry of tomorrow.
    Keywords: music; intellectual property; Creative Commons; business model
    Date: 2014–01

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