nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2015‒12‒01
ten papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Breakthrough technologies – Semiconductor, innovation and intellectual property By Thomas Hoeren; Francesca Guadagno; Sacha Wunsch-Vincent
  2. Intellectual property rights and pharmaceuticals: The case of antibiotics By Bhaven N. Sampat
  3. Breakthrough technologies - Robotics, innovation and intellectual property By Andrew Keisner; Julio Raffo; Sacha Wunsch-Vincent
  4. 3D printing and the intellectual property system By Stefan Bechtold
  5. Breakthrough innovations in aircraft and the intellectual property system, 1900-1975 By David C. Mowery
  6. Do Firms Respond to Stronger Patent Protection by Doing More R&D? By Joel Blit; Mauricio Zelaya
  7. Economic growth and breakthrough innovations: A case study of nanotechnology By Lisa Larrimore Ouellette
  8. Cross-Licensing and Competition By Jeon, Doh-Shin; Lefouili, Yassine
  9. Is Advertising for Losers? An Empirical Study from a Value Creation– Value Capturing Perspective By Koen Tackx; Sandra Rothenberger; Paul Verdin
  10. Is There a Market for Branded Gulf of Mexico Oysters? By Petrolia, Daniel; Walton, William; Yehouenou, Lauriane

  1. By: Thomas Hoeren (Institute for Information, Telecommunication and Media Law (ITM), University of Münster (Germany).); Francesca Guadagno (Economics and Statistics Division, World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.); Sacha Wunsch-Vincent (Economics and Statistics Division, World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.)
    Abstract: Semiconductor technology is at the origin of today’s digital economy. Its contribution to innovation, productivity and economic growth in the past four decades has been extensive. This paper analyzes how this breakthrough technology came about, how it diffused, and what role intellectual property (IP) played historically. The paper finds that the semiconductor innovation ecosystem evolved considerably over time, reflecting in particular the move from early - stage invention and first commercialization to mass production and diffusion. All phases relied heavily on contributions in fundamental science, linkages to public research and individual entrepreneurship. Government policy, in the form of demand-side and industrial policies were key. In terms of I P, patents were used intensively. However, they were often used as an effective means of sharing technology, rather than merely as a tool to block competitors. Antitrust policy helped spur key patent holders to set up liberal licensing policies. In contrast, and potentially as a cautionary tale for the future, the creation of new IP form s – the sui generis system to protect mask design - did not produce the desired outcome. Finally, copyright has gained in importance more recently.
    Keywords: semiconductors, innovation, patent, sui generis, copyright, intellectual property.
    JEL: O33 O34 O47 O38
    Date: 2015–11
  2. By: Bhaven N. Sampat (Columbia University and NBER)
    Abstract: The development and diffusion of antibiotics contributed to large improvements in human health and living standards. The antibiotic revolution also spawned the modern pharmaceutical industry. This paper reviews the development of the early antibiotics, and the roles of intellectual property rights (in particular, patents) in their development and diffusion. Though today the pharmaceutical sector is typically characterized as one industry where patents are absolutely essential for innovation incentives, patent incentives had a subtle role in the early years of the antibiotic revolution. Indeed, in successive stages of the antibiotic revolution there was increasing focus of pharmaceutical firms on patents and exclusivity. The new technologies shaped patent laws and practices as much as patents influenced innovation incentives: technology and institutions co-evolved. Beyond patents and intellectual property, wartime exigencies and several forms of university-industry collaboration also appear to have been important in supporting breakthrough antibiotic innovations.
    Keywords: Innovation;Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights; Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation; Health.
    JEL: O3 N4 I1
    Date: 2015–11
  3. By: Andrew Keisner (Attorney, Davis & Gilbert LLP, New York, New York, U.S.A); Julio Raffo (Economics and Statistics Division, World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.); Sacha Wunsch-Vincent (Economics and Statistics Division, World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.)
    Abstract: Robotics technology and the increasing sophistication of artificial intelligence are breakthrough innovations with significant growth prospects and the potential to disrupt existing economic and social facets of everyday life. Few studies have analyzed the developments of robotics innovation. This paper closes this gap by analyzing how innovation in robotics is taking place, how it diffuses, and what role intellectual property (IP) plays. The paper finds that robotics clusters are mainly located in the US, Europe, but increasingly also in the Republic of Korea and China. The robotics innovation ecosystem builds on cooperative networks of actors, including individuals, research institutions, and firms. Governments play a significant role in supporting robotics innovation, in particular through funding, military demand, and national robotics strategies. Robotics competitions and prizes provide for an important incentive to innovation. Patents are used to exclude third parties, to secure freedom to operate, to license technologies and to avoid litigation. The countries with the highest number of filings are Japan, China, Republic of Korea and the US. The growing stock of patents owned by universities and PROs, in particular in China, is noteworthy too. Automotive and electronics companies are still the largest patent filers, but new actors in fields such as medical technologies and the Internet are emerging. Secrecy is often used as a tool to appropriate innovation. Copyright protection is relevant to robotics too, mainly in its role in protecting software, and more recently in protecting so-called Netlists. Finally, proprietary approaches co-exist with open-source robotics platforms which are developing rapidly in robotics clusters.
    Keywords: Robotics; artificial intelligence; innovation; patents; trade secrets; copyrights.
    JEL: F23 L86 O3 L6
    Date: 2015–11
  4. By: Stefan Bechtold (ETH Zurich)
    Abstract: Three-dimensional (3D) printing – or “additive manufacturing” – technologies differ from traditional molding and casting manufacturing processes in that they build 3D objects by successively creating layers of material on top of each other. Rooted in manufacturing research of the 1980s, 3D printing has evolved into a broad set of technologies that could fundamentally alter production processes in a wide set of technology areas. This report investigates, from the perspective of an intellectual property scholar, how 3D printing technology has developed over the last few decades, how intellectual property rights have shaped this breakthrough innovation and how 3D printing technologies could challenge the intellectual property rights system in the future. As in other areas of innovation policy, the role of the intellectual property system in fostering innovation in 3D printing technologies is a complex one. It played a beneficial role in some instances (sometimes intended and sometimes unintended), and it may have played a neutral or detrimental role in other instances. Studying the progress of 3D printing technologies thereby also informs us about the intricate relationship between intellectual property and innovation.
    Keywords: Innovation, 3D printing, intellectual property.
    JEL: K29 L60 O30 O32 O34 O38
    Date: 2015–11
  5. By: David C. Mowery (Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley, USA)
    Abstract: Modern commercial aircraft are complex products that incorporate innovations in technologies ranging from advanced materials to software and electronics. Although commercial aircraft assuredly qualify as a transformative innovation, in fact today’s commercial aircraft are the result of a process of incremental innovation and improvement that dates back more than a century. A great many of these improvements and incremental innovations originated from government-supported R&D programs sponsored by the military services or government research laboratories. The adoption of commercial-aircraft innovations within many industrial economies, including the United States, also has been influenced by government regulation of air transportation. This paper provides a historical characterization of the innovation and record of technical progress in US commercial aircraft during the 1900-1975 period. It identifies the sources of support for innovation and technological adoption, and examines the origins and impacts of “breakthrough innovations” on the overall evolution of the global commercial aircraft industry. The paper also assesses the role of patents in these important innovations.
    Keywords: Innovation, airplane, intellectual property
    JEL: O3 O34 O38 N7
    Date: 2015–11
  6. By: Joel Blit (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo); Mauricio Zelaya (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo)
    Abstract: We examine whether stronger intellectual property rights (IPR) promote firm R&D, using changes in the IPR of export-partner countries as an exogenous source of variation. Constructing an export-weighted index of trade partner IPR by country-industry-year, we find that R&D responds strongly to trade partner IPR, and this after including industry, year, country, and interacted fixed effects. We further find evidence of this relationship at the level of the establishment, using a unique Canadian dataset. Our results suggest a causal link between IPR and firm R&D investments.
    JEL: O34
    Date: 2015–08
  7. By: Lisa Larrimore Ouellette (Stanford Law School, USA.)
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of intellectual property and other innovation incentives in the development of one field of breakthrough innovation: nanotechnology. Because nanotechnology is an enabling technology across a wide range of fields, the nanotechnology innovation ecosystem appears to be a microcosm of the global innovation ecosystem. Part I describes the nature of nanotechnology and its economic contribution, Part II explores the nanotechnology innovation ecosystem, and Part III focuses on the role of IP system s in the development of nanotechnology.
    Keywords: Innovation, nanotechnology, intellectual property
    JEL: O3 O34 O38
    Date: 2015–11
  8. By: Jeon, Doh-Shin; Lefouili, Yassine
    Abstract: We study bilateral cross-licensing agreements among N (>2) competing firms. We find that the industry-profit-maximizing royalty can be sustained as the outcome of bilaterally efficient agreements. This holds regardless of whether agreements are public or private and whether firms compete in quantities or prices. We extend this monopolization result to a general class of two-stage games in which firms bilaterally agree in the first stage to make each other payments that depend on their second-stage non-cooperative actions. Policy implications regarding the antitrust treatment of cross-licensing agreements are derived.
    Keywords: antitrust and intellectual property; collusion; cross-licensing; royalties
    JEL: D14 F13 L24 L41 O34
    Date: 2015–11
  9. By: Koen Tackx; Sandra Rothenberger; Paul Verdin
    Abstract: Does advertising lead to higher profits? This question has occupied both academic researchers and company executives for many decades. Arguments have gone in both directions, and evidence is mixed at best. Re-examining the question from a value creation and value capturing perspective as introduced in the strategic management and marketing literature, this article attempts to re-interpret and reconcile the different views and empirically validate the resulting hypotheses. Using a database of the top 500 brands of established companies during the period 2008–2012, we find that advertising spending has no significant impact on profitability, in contrast with brand value and innovation(the latter also positively affects brand value creation). In addition, advertising spending actually weakens the positive effect of innovation on profitability. These findings provide support for the view that advertising in and of itself does not improve profitability. Rather, its effect is positive only when it acts to support customer value creation, based on brand value and/or innovation activities.
    Keywords: advertising effectiveness; brand value; effectiveness of research and development; profitability drivers; innovation; value creation; value capturing
    JEL: M10 M20 M30
    Date: 2015–08–28
  10. By: Petrolia, Daniel; Walton, William; Yehouenou, Lauriane
    Abstract: We administered an online choice experiment to a sample of U.S. raw oyster consumers to identify factors influencing preferences for Gulf of Mexico oysters, and to estimate willingness-to-pay for specific attributes, including harvest location / brand, price, size, taste (saltiness), and cultivation method (wild vs. farm-raised). This work was complemented by taste panels conducted in Point Clear (Alabama), Houston, and Chicago. During taste panels, local branded varieties dominate consumer choice, although these same varieties fare no better than other varieties under blind taste-tests. Online survey results indicate that Non-Gulf respondents are likely to require a price discount on Gulf varieties relative to local varieties, on the order of $3-9 per half-dozen, depending on the specific variety and other factors. Although most Gulf respondents chose the cheaper generic Gulf oyster over branded Gulf varieties, we still estimate positive price premia for branded Gulf varieties of up to $5 per half-dozen.
    Keywords: branding, choice experiment, consumer preferences, economics, labeling, survey, willingness to pay, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Marketing, D12, Q22,
    Date: 2015–11

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