nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2014‒11‒07
four papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Harmonising and Matching IPR Holders at IP Australia By T’Mir D. Julius; Gaétan de Rassenfosse
  2. How Does Public IPR Protection Affect its Private Counterpart? Copyright and the Firms' Own IPR Protection in a Software Duopoly By Kresimir Zigic; Jiri Strelicky; Michael Kunin
  3. Interlocking Directorships and Patenting Coordination By Michele Bernini; Georgios Efthyvoulou; Ian Gregory-Smith; Jolian McHardy; Antonio Navas
  4. Directing Technical Change from Fossil-Fuel to Renewable Energy Innovation: An Application using Firm Level Patent Data By Joelle Noailly; Roger Smeets

  1. By: T’Mir D. Julius (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, and Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia, The University of Melbourne); Gaétan de Rassenfosse (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, and Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia, The University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: This document describes the methodology developed by the Melbourne Institute to: (i) harmonise holders of intellectual property rights (IPRs) at IP Australia (applications for patent, designs, trademarks and plant breeder’s rights); (ii) match Australian IPRs holders to the Australian business register; (iii) identify the ultimate owners within Australia; and (iv) identify which holders are small and medium size enterprises.
    Keywords: Patent, trademark, design right, plant breeder’s right, harmonizing, name cleaning, Patstat
    JEL: O34
    Date: 2014–07
  2. By: Kresimir Zigic; Jiri Strelicky; Michael Kunin
    Abstract: We study how the strength of public intellectual property rights (IPR) protection against software piracy (copyright protection) affects private IPR protection (that software developers may themselves undertake to protect their IPR). There are two software developers that offer a product variety of differing (exogenously given) quality and compete in prices for heterogeneous users, who make a choice whether to buy a legal version, use an illegal copy (if they can), or not use a product at all. Using an illegal version violates IPR and is thus punishable when disclosed. If a developer considers the level of piracy as high, he can introduce a form of physical protection for his software or digital product. The main aim of our analysis is to study how the level and the change of public IPR protection affect the pricing and IPR protection strategies of software developers. In particular, we are interested in establishing when the two forms of IPR protection (public and private) are complements to each other, when are they substitutes and when a change in public IPR has no impact on private IPR protection.
    Keywords: vertically differentiated duopoly; software piracy; Bertrand competition; copyright protection; private and public intellectual property rights protection;
    JEL: D43 L11 L21 O25 O34
    Date: 2014–10
  3. By: Michele Bernini (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield); Georgios Efthyvoulou (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield); Ian Gregory-Smith (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield); Jolian McHardy (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield); Antonio Navas (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to investigate the role interlocking directorships play in the patenting activities of UK companies and provide further insights into the channels through which this relationship emerges. Our empirical analysis produces three main results: first, interlocking leads to a higher number of successful patent applications; second, interlocked firms are more likely to cite each other's patents, especially around the moment of interlocking; and, third, interlocked companies tend to increase the technological similarity of their patent portfolio in the immediate period following their first interlock. To rationalise these results, we develop a theoretical model that identifies interlocking directorships as a practice that prevents property right conflicts that often arise between firms that are technologically close to each other.
    Keywords: patents; director networks; knowledge spillovers; patent coordination
    JEL: O31 O32 D85 G30 J49
    Date: 2014–10
  4. By: Joelle Noailly; Roger Smeets (The Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of directed technical change at the Firm level in the electricity generation sector. We use firm-level data on patents filed in renewable (REN) and fossil fuel (FF) technologies by 5,261 european firms over the period 1978-2006. We investigate how energy prices, market size and knowledge stocks affect firms' incentives to innovate in one technology relative to another and how these factors may thereby induce a shift from FF to REN technology in the electricity generation sector. We separately study small specialized firms, which innovate in only one type of technology during our sample period, and large mixed firms, which innovate in both technologies. We also separate the extensive margin innovation decision (i.e. whether to conduct innovation) from the intensive margin decision (i.e. how much to innovate). Overall, we find that all three factors - energy prices, market sizes and past knowledge stocks - matter to redirect innovation towards REN and away from FF technologies. Yet, we find that these factors have a larger impact on closing the technology gap through the entry (and exit) of small specialized firms, rather than through large mixed firms' innovation. An implication of our results is that firm dynamics are of direct policy interest to induce the replacement of FF by REN technologies in the electricity generation sector.
    Keywords: Directed technical change; Renewable energy; Fossil fuel energy; Patents; Innovation; Firm dynamics
    Date: 2014–02–01

This nep-ipr issue is ©2014 by Giovanni Ramello. 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.