nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2015‒08‒25
six papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Patent Citations and the Size of the Inventive Step - Evidence from Hybrid Corn By Petra Moser; Joerg Ohmstedt; Paul W. Rhode
  2. Cognitive Distances in Prior Art Search by the Triadic Patent Offices: Empirical evidence from international search reports By WADA Tetsuo
  3. Global engagement in R&D: a portrait of biopharmaceutical patenting firms By Laura Abramovsky
  4. «Jamendo: The Heartbeat of Free Music!» Musicians and the Creative Commons By Stephen Bazen; Laurence Bouvard; Jean-Benoît Zimmermann
  5. Free-Riding and Luxury Brands on the Internet By Olivier Bomsel
  6. Religious Responses to “Selling Happiness”: Consequences for Attitude toward the Ad and the Advertised Brand By Jamel Khenfer; Steven Shepherd; Aaron Kay

  1. By: Petra Moser; Joerg Ohmstedt; Paul W. Rhode
    Abstract: Patents are the main source of data on innovation, but there are persistent concerns that patents may be a noisy and biased measure. An important challenge arises from unobservable variation in the size of the inventive step that is covered by a patent. The count of later patents that cite a patent as relevant prior art – so called forward citations – have become the standard measure to control for such variation. Citations may, however, also be a noisy and biased measure for the size of the inventive step. To address this issue, this paper examines field trial data for patented improvements in hybrid corn. Field trials report objective measures for improvements in hybrid corn, which we use to quantify the size of the inventive step. These data show a robust correlation between citations and improvements in yields, as the bottom line measure for improvements in hybrid corn. This correlation is robust to alternative measures for improvements in hybrid corn, and a broad range of other tests.We also investigate the process, by which patents generate citations. This analysis reveals that hybrids that serve as an input for genetically-related follow-on inventions are more likely to receive self-citations (by the same firm), which suggests that self-citations are a good predictor for follow-on invention.
    JEL: O3 O31 O34 Q16 Q55
    Date: 2015–07
  2. By: WADA Tetsuo
    Abstract: Despite large numbers of empirical studies being conducted on examiner patent citations, few have scrutinized the cognitive limitations of officials at patent offices in searching for prior art to add patent citations during patent prosecution. This research takes advantage of the longitudinal gap between international search reports (ISRs) required by the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and subsequent examination procedures in national phases. It inspects whether several kinds of distances actually affect the probability that a piece of prior art is caught at the time of ISRs, which is much earlier than national phase examinations. Based on triadic PCT applications for all of the triadic patent offices (European Patent Office (EPO), United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and Japan Patent Office (JPO)) between 2002 and 2005 and their citations made by the triadic offices, evidence shows that geographical distances negatively affect the probability of prior patents being caught in ISRs, while a lag of prior art positively affects the probability. Also, the technological complexity of an application negatively affects the probability, whereas the size of forward citations of prior art affects it positively. These results show the existence of cognitive restrictions borne by officials at the patent offices, and suggest issues for designing work sharing by patent offices, in that the duplication of search costs exists only where search horizons of patent offices overlap each other.
    Date: 2015–08
  3. By: Laura Abramovsky (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: This paper provides a novel portrait of firms engaging in the international use of inventors. I focus on drug discovery activity of pharmaceutical and biotechnological firms head-quartered in Europe, over the period 1996-2005. An important part of the most high-valued added R&D activities are conducted by inventors, who are engaged in the creation of new technologies. I use a novel and particularly rich dataset that provides a comparable picture across host locations and over time of research activity of EU firms. The main results are that firm-level heterogeneity is a key feature in the internationalisation of inventors and this is similar to patterns from data analysing good and service traders and MNEs. Furthermore, host country distance characteristics are associated with the number of inventors in a similar fashion to patterns found in gravity models explaining good and service trade.
    Keywords: International trade; multinational firms; inventors; R&D
    JEL: F14 F19 F23 O31
    Date: 2015–07
  4. By: Stephen Bazen (AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) - Ecole Centrale Marseille (ECM) - AMU - Aix-Marseille Université); Laurence Bouvard (AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) - Ecole Centrale Marseille (ECM) - AMU - Aix-Marseille Université); Jean-Benoît Zimmermann (AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) - Ecole Centrale Marseille (ECM) - AMU - Aix-Marseille Université)
    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.
    Date: 2014–10
  5. By: Olivier Bomsel (CERNA - Centre d'économie industrielle - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris)
    Abstract: Luxury is a complex industrial activity whose products combine strong vertical differentiation and a meaning value for the consumer. Luxury offers experiences, the economy of which is based on signalling. This gives rise to intense intangible investment internalized by trademark law and vertical restraints in distribution. However, the extent of the added value and the power of externalities associated with communication generate many sources of free-riding. Using the tools of industrial economics, this article analyses how the digitization of information and transactions creates new forms of free-riding in relation to luxury brands. Identifying vertical disintegration as a major source of free-riding, it calls for improved internalization of the enforcement of trademark law by all players in the digital value chain.
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Jamel Khenfer (AMU - Aix-Marseille Université); Steven Shepherd (Duke University (Durham, USA)); Aaron Kay (Duke University (Durham, USA))
    Abstract: Many brands sell their products with the promise that the consumer will experience happiness. Intuitively, appealing to people's desire to be happy should be universally well received. In two studies, we show that it is not necessarily the case by examining the moderating role of consumer religiosity. We further show that the moderating role of religiosity on how people respond to these kinds of ads depends (1) on the motivational foundations of religious activity (intrinsic vs. extrinsic), and (2) on the salience of one’s religiousness at the time of ad exposure.
    Date: 2015–02–26

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