nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2015‒04‒11
two papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Environmental policy and invention crowding out. Unlocking the automotive industry from fossil fuel path dependence By Nicolò Barbieri
  2. What do firms know? What do they produce? A new look at the relationship between patenting profiles and patterns of product diversification By Giovanni Dosi; Marco Grazzi; Daniele Moschella

  1. By: Nicolò Barbieri (Deptartment of Economics. University of Bologna, Italy.)
    Abstract: This paper aims to shed light on the drivers that encourage a shift from incumbent internal combustion engine technologies towards low-emission vehicle technologies. We emphasise the role of fuel prices, one of the main drivers of environmental innovation, and other features of the technology space (such as technological proximity), in impacting technological dynamics and fossil fuel technological lock-ins. Specifically, we investigate whether green technological efforts come at the expense of other environmental or non-environmental inventive activities. In doing so, we employ Self-Organised Maps (SOMs) to detect the main technological domains exploited by the automotive industry during the period 1982-2008, using triadic patent families as a proxy for technological efforts pursued in each technological field. On the one hand, we test whether these drivers foster the substitution of non-green patents with green ones. On the other, we analyse if they favour substitution between technological efforts related to alternative vehicles, de facto influencing low-emitting vehicle competition. Our findings suggest that higher tax-inclusive fuel prices (used as a proxy for carbon tax) are effective in redirecting patenting activities from non-green to green technological fields. In addition, we observe a similar impact when we focus on green technological fields. Although this result may involve the risk of potential lock-in into sub-optimal substituting technologies, there are insights that the competition within the environmental technological domain mainly regards technological efforts spent on greening conventional cars and developing low-emission vehicles.
    Keywords: Environmental technologies, Self-Organising Maps, Crowding out, Fuel prices, Patent data
    JEL: O32 Q55 L62
    Date: 2015–03
  2. By: Giovanni Dosi; Marco Grazzi; Daniele Moschella
    Abstract: In this work we analyze the relationship between the patterns of firm diversification, if any, across product lines and across bodies of innovative knowledge, proxied by the patent classes where the firm is present. Putting it more emphatically we investigate the relationship between "what a firm doe" and "what a firm knows". Using a newly developed dataset matching information on patents and products at the firm level, we provide evidence concerning firms' technological and product scope, their relationships, the size-scaling and coherence properties of diversication itself. Our analysis shows that typically firms are much more diversified in terms of products than in terms of technologies, with their main products more related to the exploitation of their innovative knowledge. The scaling properties show that the number of products and technologies increase log-linearly as firms grow. And the directions of diversification themselves display coherence between neighboring activities also at relatively high degrees of diversification. These findings are well in tune with a capability-based theory of the firm.
    Date: 2015–01–04

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