nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2018‒02‒12
five papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. The global rise of patent expertise in the late nineteenth century By Sebastian David Pretel
  2. Can Competition Extend the Golden Age of Antibiotics? By Eswaran, Mukesh; Gallini, Nancy
  3. Intellectual property rights protection and the international transfer of low-carbon technologies By Damien Dussaux, Antoine Dechezlepretre, Matthieu Glachant
  4. Effects of Copyrights on Science - Evidence from the US Book Republication Program By Barbara Biasi; Petra Moser
  5. Geographical Indications: a first assessment of the impact on rural development in Italian NUTS3 regions By Lorenzo Cei; Gianluca Stefani; Edi Defrancesco; Ginevra Virginia Lombardi

  1. By: Sebastian David Pretel (Centro de Estudios Históricos, El Colegio de México)
    Abstract: This paper examines the rise of various forms of patent expertise over the course of the second industrialisation. The essential insight here is that patent agents and lawyers, as well as consultant engineers, became, in the late 19th century, critical actors in the production and transmission of patent rights and patented technologies within and among societies. This paper considers three main themes. First, the global institutionalisation of patent agents during the late nineteenth century and their growing centrality in several national systems. Second, the transnational patenting networks created during the 1880s, particularly the activities of associations of patent agents and their impact on the making of an international patent system. Third, the controversial role of patent experts as agents of corporate globalism. The most important point remains that agents’ powers, and their many services to multinational corporations, had enduring consequences on the structure of knowledge property worldwide.
    Keywords: Patents, expertise, globalisation, technology, corporations, networks
    JEL: N70 O3 F55 B1
    Date: 2018–01–26
  2. By: Eswaran, Mukesh; Gallini, Nancy
    Abstract: Countries world wide face an imminent global health crisis. As resistant bacteria render the current stock of antibiotics ine¤ective and the pipeline of back-up drugs runs dry, pharmaceutical companies are abandoning their research in antibiotics. In this paper we ask: Why are pharmaceutical companies closing antibiotic research labs when the stakes are so high? Implementing a simple dynamic framework, we show that the environment for new antibiotics is relatively hostile, compared to other medicines, due to market failures that result in excessive use and acceleration of natural selection. The analysis reveals, however, that increased competition between drugs can actually slow down the rate of resistance without, in some cases, diluting research incentives. This result, which is bolstered by scientific evidence, arises from a fundamental interplay between economic and biological externalities. We propose a patent-antitrust regime for aligning drug research and usage with those of the social planner, which implies an alternative justification of the patent system.
    Keywords: antibiotic resistence, market competition, R&D incentives, patents
    JEL: I11 I12 I13 O31 O38
    Date: 2018–01–29
  3. By: Damien Dussaux, Antoine Dechezlepretre, Matthieu Glachant
    Abstract: We examine the effect of intellectual property rights (IPRs) protection on the two main channels of international transfer of low-carbon technologies i.e. trade in low-carbon capital goods, and foreign direct investments (FDI) by firms producing low-carbon technologies. Our data describes cross-country transfer through these channels between developing and developed countries in eight climate-related technology fields from 2001 to 2011. At the world level, we find that strengthening IPRs protection increases transfer in six technology fields (hydro power, solar PV, solar thermal, heating, lighting, and cleaner vehicles), while the effect is statistically insignificant in the others. The results slightly change when focusing on non-OECD countries. In particular, we find that a stricter IPRs regime may reduce their imports of solar equipment. These results have important implications for climate negotiations on North-South technology transfer.
    Date: 2018–01
  4. By: Barbara Biasi; Petra Moser
    Abstract: Copyrights for books, news, and other types of media are a critical mechanism to encourage creativity and innovation. Yet economic analyses continue to be rare, partly due to a lack of experimental variation in modern copyright laws. This paper exploits a change in copyright laws as a result of World War II to examine the effects of copyrights on science. In 1943, the US Book Republication Program (BRP) granted US publishers temporary licenses to republish the exact content of German-owned science books. Using new data on citations, we find that this program triggered a large increase in citations to German-owned science books. This increase was driven by a significant reduction in access costs: Each 10 percent decline in the price of BRP book was associated with a 43 percent increase in citations. To investigate the mechanism by which lower book prices influence science, we collect data on library holdings across the United States. We find that lower prices helped to distribute BRP books across US libraries, including less affluent institutions. Analyses of the locations of citing authors further indicate that citations increased most for locations that gained access to BRP books. Results are confirmed by two alternative measures of scientific output: new PhDs and US patents that use knowledge in BRP books.
    JEL: L82 N34 N42 O15 O34 O38 O43
    Date: 2018–01
  5. By: Lorenzo Cei; Gianluca Stefani; Edi Defrancesco; Ginevra Virginia Lombardi (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa)
    Abstract: Geographical indications (GIs) are a 25 years old European policy instrument which have, among its objectives, to foster rural development. In this respect, very few studies quantitatively investigate to what extent this policy is effective. Literature is in fact mainly focused on specific GIs, studied through case studies, trying to identify which factors are responsible for the success or failure of specific initiatives. The aim of the present study is instead to quantify the impact of such policy instrument on a single indicator of rural development: agricultural value added. In order to assess the impact we firstly built an index measuring the number of GI schemes implemented at NUTS3 level in the Italian regions. Then, following a difference-in-difference evaluation strategy and relying on an explicit theoretical model, a fixed effect estimator was implemented. The choice of the model, as well as the variables to be considered, is specified using a directed acyclic graph. Results show that an overall positive effect of GI protection on agricultural value added could be identified in Italy, thus providing evidence of a positive impact of the European policy on rural development.
    Keywords: geographical indication; impact evaluation; rural development
    Date: 2017

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