nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2014‒12‒29
six papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Inventing in the Shadow of the Patent System: Evidence from 19th-Century Patents and Prizes for Technological Innovations By B. Zorina Khan
  2. The impact of piracy on prominent and non-prominent software developers By Rasch, Alexander; Wenzel, Tobias
  3. Global trajectories, dynamics, and tendencies of business software piracy: benchmarking IPRs harmonization By Simplice Anutechia Asongu; Antonio Andrés
  4. Licensing to vertically related markets By SCHOLZ, Eva-Maria
  5. The Effect of (Mostly Unskilled) Immigration on the Innovation of Italian Regions By Massimiliano Bratti; Chiara Conti
  6. The Development and Change in City Branding: A Content Analysis of the Literature By Senay Oguztimur; Ulun Akturan

  1. By: B. Zorina Khan
    Abstract: Such institutions as patent systems cannot be well understood without an assessment of technological creativity in other contexts. Some have argued that prizes might offer superior alternatives to the award of property rights in inventions. Accordingly, this paper offers an empirical comparison of patents in relation to the award of prizes for technological innovation. The data set comprises a sample of patents, as well as exhibits and prizes at annual industrial fairs in Massachusetts over the course of the nineteenth century. The patterns shed light on the factors that influenced how specific inventions and inventors attempted to appropriate returns. Prizes in general provided valuable prospects for advertisements and commercialization, rather than inventive activity per se. Prize winners typically belonged to more privileged classes than the general population of patentees, as gauged by their wealth and occupational status. Moreover, the award of prizes tended to largely unpredictable, and was unrelated to such proxies for the productivity of the innovation as inventive capital or the commercial success of the invention. Prize-oriented institutions thus appear to be less systematic and not as market-oriented as patent systems. If inventors respond to expected returns, prizes may be less effective at inducing technological creativity.
    JEL: K11 N11 O31 O34
    Date: 2014–12
  2. By: Rasch, Alexander; Wenzel, Tobias
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of software piracy on prominent and non-prominent software developers in markets based on a two-sided platform business. Consumer behavior is imperfect and, when adopting a platform, consumers only take prominent software into account. We show that prominent software exhibits higher piracy rates than non-prominent software. However, contrary to intuition, this does not necessarily mean that prominent software developers benefit more from increased software protection. Indeed, we show that prominent developers may lose out whereas non-prominent developers may gain from better software protection.
    Keywords: Piracy,Platform,Software,Two-sided market
    JEL: L11 L86
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Simplice Anutechia Asongu (Association of African Young Economists); Antonio Andrés (Universidad Camilo Jose CelaFacultad)
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine global trajectories, dynamics, and tendencies of software piracy to ease the benchmarking of current efforts towards harmonizing the standards and enforcements of Intellectual Property Rights (henceforth IPRs) protection worldwide. Our empirical exercise is based on 15 different panel regressions, which together consists of 99 countries. The richness of the dataset allows us to disaggregate countries into fundamental characteristics of business software piracy based on income-levels (high-income, lower-middle-income, upper-middle-income and low-income), legal-origins (English common-law, French civil-law, German civil-law and, Scandinavian civil-law) and, regional proximity (South Asia, Europe & Central Asia, East Asia & the Pacific, Middle East & North Africa, Latin America & the Caribbean and, Sub-Saharan Africa). Our main finding suggest that, a genuine timeframe for standardizing IPRs laws in the fight against software piracy is most feasible within a horizon of 4.3 to 10.4 years. In other words, full (100%) convergence within the specified timeframe will mean the enforcements of IPRs regimes without distinction of nationality or locality within identified fundamental characteristics of software piracy. The absence of convergence (in absolute and conditional terms) for the World panel indicates that, blanket policies may not be effective unless they are contingent on the prevailing trajectories, dynamics and tendencies of software piracy. Policy implications and caveats are also discussed.
    Keywords: Piracy, Business Software, Software piracy, Intellectual Property Rights, Panel data, Convergence
    JEL: F42 K42 O34 O38 O57
    Date: 2014–10
  4. By: SCHOLZ, Eva-Maria (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, Belgium)
    Abstract: We analyse the problem of a non-producing patentee who licenses an essential process innovation to a vertical Cournot oligopoly. The vertical oligopoly is composed of an upstream and a downstream sector which may differ in their efficiency or, in other words, in the benefit they derive from the innovation. In this framework we characterise the optimal licensing contract in terms of the licensing revenue maximising policy (fixed-fee or per-unit royalty) and sector (upstream and/or downstream sector). First, it is shown that under a fixed-fee contract licensing to the less efficient industry sector may be the patentee’s licensing revenue maximising strategy. Here, licensing to a less efficient downstream market is all the time optimal in terms of consumer surplus and aggregate economic welfare. Conversely, licensing to a less or equally efficient upstream industry is potentially inefficient. Second, our findings reveal that the optimal licensing policy is sector dependent. A per-unit royalty contract may dominate a fixed-fee policy on the downstream market in terms of licensing revenues, while offering a per-unit royalty contract to the upstream industry is never optimal. As a third and final point we address the case of licensing to both industry sectors. Here we also identify conditions under which two-sector licensing of both sectors is less profitable than one-sector licensing of a single industry (and vice versa).
    Keywords: licensing contracts, fixed-fee, royalties, vertical Cournot oligopoly
    JEL: D43 L13 O31 O34
    Date: 2014–06–11
  5. By: Massimiliano Bratti; Chiara Conti
    Abstract: Immigration has recently been at the centre of the political and economic agenda. Economists have studied extensively the impact of immigration on several economic and social indicators of host countries. The effect of immigration on innovation and technical change is, however, not much studied. The existing work on the effect of immigrants on innovation is generally limited to the role played by highly educated immigrants, generally immigrants with at least tertiary education, and is mostly focused on the US. Yet, although in anglosaxon countries skilled immigration is a sizeable phenomenon -- according to the Docquier and Marfouk (2006) data the percentages of tertiary educated immigrants were in 2001 40.3% for Australia, 58.8% for Canada, 34.9% for the UK, ad 42.7% for the US -- this is much less the case in European countries, for which just the minority of immigrants are skilled. Just to take a few figures, according to the same source, the percentages of tertiary-educated immigrants were 16.4% for France, 21.8% for Germany, 15.4% for Italy and 18.5% for Spain. Now, although the existing literature has emphasized why there are good reasons to expect positive effects of skilled immigrants on the innovation of the receiving countries, it has much less to say about the general effect of immigrants, or of low-educated immigrants. In this paper, we make an attempt to partly fill the gap concerning the effects of overall immigration on innovation, and in particular of low-skilled immigrants, existing in the literature. In addition to providing evidence for a country which was exposed to a very fast and large wave of immigration during the 2000s -- Italy --, and for which evidence is scant, we also use a very small geographical scale of analysis -- Italian provinces corresponding to NUTS-3 regions --, which presumably enables us to better control for differences in institutional and socio-economic factors which are difficult to observe but which may simultaneously contribute to both attracting new immigrants and to increasing the innovation potential of a region. More importantly, unlike most papers in the literature which only investigated the effect of skilled immigration, (i) we first focus on the general impact of immigration on innovation, and then (ii) separately look at the effects of low-educated and high-educated immigrants on innovation. Last but not least, we tackle potential endogeneity issues by using a well established instrumental variables (IVs, hereafter) strategy based on immigrants' enclaves.
    Keywords: Immigration;Innovation; Patent applications;Regions; Italy
    JEL: J2
    Date: 2014–11
  6. By: Senay Oguztimur; Ulun Akturan
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to systematically review the city branding literature to provide an explicated and organized view and highlight further research opportunities. In that sense, the articles published on "city branding" and "city marketing" between 1988 and 2014 were explored via content analysis. The analysis of 146 articles suggests that there is a growing interest from different disciplines for city branding as a research domain. Therefore, it is concluded that, city branding is a multi-disciplinary area. There is a wide array of journals that are interested in and published articles on city branding. However, especially, the domain-specific journals contributed most that research area to develop. It was found that that 102 different cities from 38 different nations are studied and comparison among the cities are highly common. Most of the studies are research based and qualitative methods and case study approach are commonly used. However, there is a general tendency to describe the data but not interpret the relations between the concepts and theories. Therefore the knowledge is idiographic. Even if there is a western domination, the worldwide geographical coverage is
    JEL: M31 R00
    Date: 2014–11

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