nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2015‒09‒05
four papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. First Mover Advantages and Optimal Patent Protection By Scherer, F. M.
  2. Technology Entry in the Presence of Patent Thickets By Bronwyn H. Hall; Christian Helmers; Georg von Graevenitz
  3. Same Place, Same Knowledge – Same People? The Geography of Non-Patent Citations in Dutch Polymer Patents By Dominik Heinisch; Önder Nomaler; Guido Buenstorf; Koen Frenken; Harry Lintsen
  4. The Use of Science for Inventions and its Identification: Patent level evidence matched with survey By NAGAOKA Sadao; YAMAUCHI Isamu

  1. By: Scherer, F. M. (Harvard University)
    Abstract: This paper advances the analysis of incentives for technological innovation by examining the conditions under which first mover advantages--e.g., a head start, the necessity for imitators to incur their own research and development costs, production cost advantages derived inter alia through learning by doing, and the reputational "image" advantages of first movers--provide an adequate substitute for patent protection. The paper begins by modifying the pioneering analysis of William Nordhaus to deal with product innovations. Computer simulations then investigate whether profitability under diverse first mover advantages is sufficient to motivate investment in research and development. Cases emerge under which incentives are insufficient without patent protection, most notably, when target markets are small, imitation lags are short, and imitators' erosion of the innovator's market share is rapid. But in the majority of cases investigated, innovation is profitable even without patent protection. Tentative implications for patent policy are proposed.
    Date: 2015–05
  2. By: Bronwyn H. Hall; Christian Helmers; Georg von Graevenitz
    Abstract: We analyze the effect of patent thickets on entry into technology areas by firms in the UK. We present a model that describes incentives to enter technology areas characterized by varying technological opportunity, complexity of technology, and the potential for hold-up in patent thickets. We show empirically that our measure of patent thickets is associated with a reduction of first time patenting in a given technology area controlling for the level of technological complexity and opportunity. Technological areas characterized by more technological complexity and opportunity, in contrast, see more entry. Our evidence indicates that patent thickets raise entry costs, which leads to less entry into technologies regardless of a firm’s size.
    JEL: K11 L20 O31 O34
    Date: 2015–08
  3. By: Dominik Heinisch; Önder Nomaler; Guido Buenstorf; Koen Frenken; Harry Lintsen
    Abstract: It has long been argued that geographic co-location supports knowledge spillovers. More recently, this argument has been challenged by showing that knowledge spillovers mainly flow through social networks, which may or may not be localized at various geographic scales. We further scrutinize the conjecture of geographically bounded knowledge spillovers by focusing on knowledge flows between academia and industry. Looking into citations to non-patent literature (NPL) in 2,385 Dutch polymer patents, we find that citation lags are shorter on average if Dutch rather than foreign NPLs are cited. However, when excluding individual and organizational self-citations, geographically proximate NPLs no longer diffuse faster than foreign NPLs. This suggests that knowledge is not “in the air” but transferred by mobile individuals and/or direct university-industry collaboration. Our findings moreover suggest an important role of international conferences in the diffusion of recent scientific knowledge.
    Keywords: Non-patent literature, citation lags, knowledge spillovers, university-industry interaction, polymer industry.
    JEL: O33 R10 L65
    Date: 2015–08
  4. By: NAGAOKA Sadao; YAMAUCHI Isamu
    Abstract: While backward citation information disclosed in patent documents is often used for tracing the scientific sources of innovations, it is still poorly understood how well the backward citations trace the actual knowledge flow from science. This paper directly evaluates both the completeness and the noise of the inventor citation information, linking the results of an original inventor survey on scientific sources to the dataset of non-patent literatures (NPLs) revealed in the entire patent document. We find that patent citations to NPLs are not only noisy but also highly incomplete. More important science sources are not necessarily more revealed. However, controlling for the propensity to cite NPLs, our estimation results show that the revealed NPLs are more likely to predict the existence of important scientific sources when the inventor refers to highly cited scientific literature early after its publication. We also find that the NPLs revealed at the place where an invention is described provide important additional information in identifying science sources.
    Date: 2015–08

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