nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2016‒06‒14
three papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Claim Length as a Value Predictor of a Patent By OKADA, Yoshimi; NAITO, Yusuke; NAGAOKA, Sadao
  2. Does taste trump health? Effects of nutritional characteristics on brand-level demand for chips in the U.S. By Staudigel, Matthias; Anders, Sven
  3. The Consumer Paradox: Why Bottom-Tier Consumers Are Loyal To Brand Names By Pasirayi, Simba; Grebitus, Carola

  1. By: OKADA, Yoshimi; NAITO, Yusuke; NAGAOKA, Sadao
    Abstract: The claim of a patent defines the scope of patent right and provides crucial information on patent value. However, most empirical research uses only the number of claims as an indicator of patent value. We show that the breadth of a claim of Japanese patents, measured by the inverse of claim length, has significant explanatory power for patent value measured by applicant forward citations. Indeed, the explanatory power of claim breadth is comparable with that of the number of claims. The predictive power of claim breadth is stable for all quantiles in the discrete technology area, while it is far more significant for top-ranked patents in the complex technology area.
    Keywords: Claim length, patent value, quantile regression, discrete technology, complex technology, applicant forward citation
    JEL: O34
    Date: 2016–05
  2. By: Staudigel, Matthias; Anders, Sven
    Abstract: Recent controversial policy proposals have aimed at creating a healthier food supply by means of taxation, minimum quality standards or nutritional labeling. Yet the outcomes of such policies strongly depend on the competitive structures and thus substitution processes of individual products within categories, which are not well understood. The objective of this paper is to quantify the source and impact of differentiation in ingredient formulation and especially product health attributes on the competitive positioning of brands under heterogeneous consumer preferences. We employ Berry, Levinsohn and Pakes’ (1995) random-coefficient logit framework to estimate product-level demand for highly differentiated potato and tortilla chips in the U.S. We are specifically interested in the extent to which heterogeneous consumers respond to changes in product formulation, pricing and brand attributes. Our results support the unhealthy-tasty intuition hypothesis only to a certain degree with consumers’ utility increasing in sodium and saturated fat levels but decreasing in energy and total fat content. Results further suggest strong impacts of price, brand, and flavor effects on band-level market shares. Our analysis underlines the trade-offs involved in food manufacturers’ decisions to reformulate products in order to comply with policy and public demands for healthier products options that do not sacrifice taste.
    Keywords: Brand-level demand, differentiated products, health-taste trade-off, retail scanner data, product formulation, random-coefficients logit., Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Consumer/Household Economics, Demand and Price Analysis, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Health Economics and Policy, Industrial Organization, Marketing,
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Pasirayi, Simba; Grebitus, Carola
    Abstract: Recent studies on private labels find that store brand consumers tend to be middle income, educated, older consumers with large families. Moreover, low-income households that have the same needs as wealthier households do not economize by buying a greater proportion of private-label products. Instead they prefer higher priced national brands even in recessionary times. In this research study we employ the reference group theory to explain this counterintuitive phenomenon. Results show that low-income households are upward comparing, that is, they contrast themselves with high-income households whom they believe are better-off. These comparisons result in preference for national brands. In addition, we find that low income consumers know little about advances in private labels which also explains why they prefer national brands. Last, we find that our results are also consistent in emerging economies.
    Keywords: private labels, social influence, socioeconomic status, Consumer/Household Economics, Marketing,
    Date: 2016–05–25

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