nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2017‒03‒05
six papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. International patent families: from application strategies to statistical indicators By Antoine Dechezleprêtre; Yann Ménière; Myra Mohnen
  2. Antitrust, Patents, and Cumulative Innovation: Evidence from Bell Labs By Nagler, Markus; Watzinger, Martin; Fackler, Thomas; Schnitzer, Monika
  3. Do Technology Transfer and IPR Spur Domestic Innovation?: An International Panel Data Analysis By Demir, Caner
  4. The Economics of Patent Backlog By Zaby, Alexandra Karin; de Rassenfosse, Gaétan
  5. Competition, Patent Protection, and Innovation in an Endogenous Market Structure By Suzuki, Keishun
  6. What determines international and inter-sectoral knowledge flows? The impact of absorptive capacity, technological distance and spillovers By Florian Seliger

  1. By: Antoine Dechezleprêtre; Yann Ménière; Myra Mohnen
    Abstract: This paper provides an in-depth analysis of the characteristics of international patent families, including their domestic component. The authors exploit a relatively under-studied feature of patent families, namely the number of patents covering the same invention within a given jurisdiction. Using this information, they highlight common patterns in the structure of international patent families, which reflect both the patenting strategies of innovators and the peculiarities of the different patent systems. While the literature has extensively used family size – i.e. the number of countries in which a given invention is protected – as a measure of patent value, the authors’ results suggest that the number of patent filings in the priority country within a patent family, as well as the time span between the first and last filings within a family, are other insightful indicators of the value of patented innovations.
    Date: 2017–02
  2. By: Nagler, Markus; Watzinger, Martin; Fackler, Thomas; Schnitzer, Monika
    Abstract: How large is the impact of intellectual property on cumulative innovation in electronics, computers and communications? Following an antitrust lawsuit against Western Electric and AT&T, Bell Labs had to license all patents published by 1956 for free. We find that this removal of patent rights increased subsequent citations to Bell’s patents by 7%. Patenting in affected patent subclasses increased by 17%. The effect comes from young and small firms in fields in which Bell did not remain commercially active. Placebo regressions support the identification assumption of parallel trends in citations.
    JEL: O31 O33 L43
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Demir, Caner
    Abstract: The study investigates whether raising technology transfer and strengthening the intellectual property rights (IPR) regime trigger domestic innovation by employing a panel data analysis for 58 developed and developing countries in the 1960-2010 period. Since theoretical and empirical literature has proved that innovation and technology were the prominent drivers of development process, analyzing the determinants of these factors have become crucial. Due to the globalization process, knowledge spreads faster than any other social and economic indicators; which makes the interactions between the types of knowledge more important. Thus, the study analyzes the impacts of foreign patents (as a proxy for technology transfer) and IPR on domestic innovation. According to the empirical analysis, it is found that technology transfer triggers domestic innovation both in developed and developing world. Contrary, it is also found that intellectual property protection is a detrimental factor for domestic innovation in mid income group while it bears fruit in high income group.
    Keywords: Innovation, technology transfer, intellectual property rights, patents.
    JEL: O31 O34
    Date: 2016–12–15
  4. By: Zaby, Alexandra Karin; de Rassenfosse, Gaétan
    Abstract: Patent offices around the world face massive backlogs of applications, which threatens to slow down the pace of technological progress. However, economists lack analytical tools to address the issue. This paper provides a model of patent backlog inspired from the traffic congestion literature. Inventors in the cohort are heterogeneous with respect to desired patent pendency duration and react in anticipation of the waiting time resulting from the backlog. They can accelerate or slow down pendency duration by adapting their filing strategy. We find that the backlog impedes patent examination progress by providing incentives to strategically manipulate pendency. We discuss four policy responses: increasing examination capacity; introducing a penalty fee; altering the value of pending applications; and allowing deferred examination.
    JEL: O34 R48 O38
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Suzuki, Keishun
    Abstract: This study revisits the relationship between competition and innovation by incorporating an endogenous market structure (EMS) in a dynamic general equilibrium model. We consider that both innovative and non-innovative followers engage in Cournot competition with free entry. A competition-enhancing policy, which reduces entry cost, can stimulate the entry of innovative followers when the entry cost is high. However, when the entry cost is sufficiently low, the entry of non-innovative followers crowd-out innovative followers from the market. As a result, there is a non-monotonic relationship (inverted-V shape) between competition and innovation. Furthermore, we show that, while strengthening patent protection positively affects innovation when competition is sufficiently intense, the effect may be negative under milder competition. This suggests that a competition policy could complement a patent policy.
    Keywords: Competition, Patent Protection, Innovation, Endogenous Market Structure
    JEL: O30 O40
    Date: 2017–02–25
  6. By: Florian Seliger (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: This paper studies determinants of knowledge flows as measured with patent forward citations that occur between 'input' and 'output sector-countries'. We look at the impact of absorptive capacity of a focal sector-country, knowledge spillovers and technological distance between sector-countries on further knowledge flows. For this purpose, we develop a knowledge flow matrix similar to input-output tables in trade where patent citations capture knowledge flows that go from the input sector-country to the output sector-country. We estimate a gravity model with variables that capture technological distance and knowledge that comes from either inside the input output pair or from external spillover sources. Our results indicate that knowledge accumulated in the output sector-country and - in some cases - external spillovers are key in generating further knowledge flows that go to the output sector-country. A distinction between high-tech and low-tech sector-countries shows that spillovers are more useful for the generation of knowledge flows if the input sector-country is low-tech. Low-tech sector-countries benefit from both high-tech knowledge from the output sector-country and external knowledge from the technological frontier. In contrast, knowledge flows based on high-tech sector-countries cannot benefit from low-tech sector-countries and only to a very limited extent from other high-tech sources. Technological distance between sector-countries has a negative impact on further knowledge flows so that only technologically proximate sector-countries are more likely to generate knowledge flows.
    Keywords: Knowledge flows, Patent citations, Spillovers, Absorptive capacity, Gravity model
    Date: 2016–10

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