nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2017‒12‒18
four papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Elements of Intellectual Property Protection in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology: Interactions and Outcomes By Smith, Stephen; Lence, Sergio H; Hayes, Dermot J.; Alston, Julian; Corona, Eloy
  2. Is the Fuel Cell Vehicle’s Technological Innovation System built at a global or national scale? An analysis of carmakers\' co-patents’ portfolios By Vincent FRIGANT; Stéphane MIOLLAN; Maëlise PRESSE; David VIRAPIN
  3. Copyright in the Blockchain Era: Promises and Challenges By Alexander Savelyev
  4. Brand positioning and consumer taste information By Arcan Nalca,; Tamer Boyaci,; Saibal Ray

  1. By: Smith, Stephen; Lence, Sergio H; Hayes, Dermot J.; Alston, Julian; Corona, Eloy
    Abstract: Public and private investments in plant breeding have a proven track record of increasing agricultural productivity, significantly contributing to economic well-being or social welfare. Substantial investments in research and development are required before a new plant variety can be developed and released, which the private sector can only recoup through commercial sales coupled with property rights. We previously published outcomes from economic modeling implementing different categories and hypothetical variants of intellectual property protection (IPP) in the field of plant breeding and biotechnology. Our goal here is to portray these outcomes using examples that will be more immediately familiar to the plant-breeding and policy-making communities. In so doing, we do not add to the analyses and arguments already presented. Our objective here is to make more accessible to a broader audience subject matter already presented in a more formal economic format by Lence et al. (2015). We found that plant variety protection (PVP) and utility patents played important and complementary roles in promoting and adopting innovation. Voluntary licensing under patents had a major contribution to social welfare. Periods of protection longer than the current life span of a utility patent did not contribute maximally to the stock of social welfare. We performed a reality check comparing different types of innovation and assessment of time and risk to commercialization. We hope that this information can contribute to more effective implementation of IPP to further promote genetic gain and thus enable commercially funded plant breeders to maximally contribute to the benefit of society on a global basis.
    Date: 2016–04–15
  2. By: Vincent FRIGANT; Stéphane MIOLLAN; Maëlise PRESSE; David VIRAPIN
    Abstract: This paper wishes to contribute to the Technological Innovation System (TIS) literature. More precisely, we study the geographic delineation issue of a focal TIS. In a first part, we discuss the geographic delineation debate in TIS framework, and we explain why co-patents are a good tool for mapping a TIS. Then considering the Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) as a focal TIS, we analyse 10 carmakers’ co-patent networks in FCV technologies between 2000 and 2013. Our database includes 3,250 co-patents. First, we build the networks corresponding to the three periods 2000-2004, 2000-2009, and 2000-2013. Second, we measure the nationalization index of their networks. Third, we study with whom they have established formal collaborations. The results show: 1) the internationalization increased slowly during the time span. We observe an extension of the network until 2009 and then, a consolidation trend; 2) the nationalization index is rather strong for 5 carmakers, and very weak for 3 others; 3) carmakers call upon different kinds of partners, located, moreover, in different places. The final section learns the lessons from the empirical study.
    Keywords: Technological Innovation System, TIS, Fuel Cell Vehicle, Geography of innovation, Co-patent, Automobile.
    JEL: O31 O33 L62
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Alexander Savelyev (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The paper focuses on various legal-related aspects of the application of blockchain technologies in the copyright sphere. Specifically, it outlines the existing challenges for distribution of copyrighted works in the digital environment, how they can be solved with blockchain, and what associated issues need to be addressed in this regard. It is argued that blockchain can introduce long–awaited transparency in matters of copyright ownership chain; substantially mitigate risks of online piracy by enabling control over digital copy and creating a civilized market for “used” digital content. It also allows to combine the simplicity of application of creative commons/open source type of licenses with revenue streams, and thus facilitate fair compensation of authors by means of cryptocurrency payments and Smart contracts. However, these benefits do not come without a price: many new issues will need to be resolved to enable the potential of blockchain technologies. Among them are: where to store copyrighted content (on blockchain or “off-chain”) and the associated need to adjust the legal status of online intermediaries; how to find a right balance between immutable nature of blockchain records and the necessity to adjust them due to the very nature of copyright law, which assigns ownership based on a set of informal facts, not visible to the public. Blockchain as a kind of time stamping service cannot itself ensure the trustworthiness of facts, which originate “off-chain”. Much work needs to be done on the legal side: special provisions aimed at facilitating user’s trust in blockchain records and their good faith usage of copyrighted works based on them need to be introduced and transactions with cryptocurrencies have to be legalized as well as the status of Smart contracts and their legal consequences. Finally, the economics of blockchain copyright management systems need to be carefully considered in order to ensure that they will have necessary network effects. If those issues are resolved in a satisfactory way, blockchain has the potential to rewrite how the copyright industry functions and digital content is distributed
    Keywords: Z
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Arcan Nalca, (Smith School of Business, Queen's University); Tamer Boyaci, (ESMT European School of Management and Technology); Saibal Ray (Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study how a retailer can benefit from acquiring consumer taste information in the presence of competition between the retailers store brand (SB) and a manufacturers national brand (NB). In our model, there is ex-ante uncertainty about consumer preferences for distinct product features, and the retailer has an advantage in resolving this uncertainty because of his close proximity to consumers. Our focus is on the impact of the retailers information acquisition and disclosure strategy on the positioning of the brands. Our analysis reveals that acquiring taste information allows the retailer to make better SB positioning decisions. Information disclosure, however, enables the manufacturer to make better NB positioning decisions – which in return may benefit or hurt the retailer. For instance, if a particular product feature is quite popular, then it is beneficial for the retailer to incorporate that feature into the SB, and inform the manufacturer so that the NB also includes this feature. Information sharing, in these circumstances, benefits both the retailer and the manufacturer, even though it increases the intensity of competition between the brands. But, there are situations in which the retailer refrains from information sharing so that a potentially poor positioning decision by the NB makes the SB the only provider of the popular feature. The retailer always benefits from acquiring information. However, it is beneficial to the manufacturer only if the retailer does not introduce an SB due to the associated high fixed cost.
    Keywords: supply chain management, uncertain consumer taste, product introduction, product positioning, store brands, national brands, information acquisition, information sharing, vertical difierentiation, horizontal difierentiation
    Date: 2017–01–25

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