nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2018‒05‒07
nine papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Do Patent Assertion Entities Harm Innovation? Evidence from Patent Transfers in Europe By Gianluca Orsatti; Valerio Sterzi
  2. Competition agency guidelines and policy initiatives regarding the application of competition law vis-à-vis intellectual property: An analysis of jurisdictional approaches and emerging directions By Anderson, Robert D.; Chen, Jianning; Müller, Anna Caroline; Novozhilkina, Daria; Pelletier, Philippe; Sen, Nivedita; Sporysheva, Nadezhda
  3. New evidence on determinants of IP litigation: A market-based approach By Czarnitzki, Dirk; van Criekingen, Kristof
  4. Trade Liberalization, Absorptive Capacity and the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights By Arghya GHOSH; ISHIKAWA Jota
  5. An Anatomy of U.S. Firms Seeking Trademark Registration By Emin M. Dinlersoz; Nathan Goldschlag; Amanda Myers; Nikolas Zolas
  6. The Production of Information in an Online World: Is Copy Right? By Julia Cage; nicolas Hervé; Marie-Luce Viaud
  7. Least-developed countries, transfer of technology and the TRIPS Agreement By Watal, Jayashree; Caminero, Leticia
  8. Corporate Taxes, Patent Shifting and Anti-Avoidance Rules: Empirical Evidence By Martina Baumann; Tobias Böhm; Bodo Knoll; Nadine Riedel
  9. Cross-gender extension potential of luxury brands: a semiotic analysis By Nathalie Veg-Sala; Elyette Roux

  1. By: Gianluca Orsatti; Valerio Sterzi
    Abstract: The recent upsurge of patent litigation cases initiated by patent assertion entities (PAEs) in the U.S. has led to an intense debate about their effect on innovation performances and on the IP system functioning. We contribute to this debate by providing original evidence based on the patenting activity of PAEs in Europe, a region where the patent assertion landscape is growing rapidly and the imminent introduction of the Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent will upset the current schemes. Relying on EPO (European Patent Office) data on patent transfers and patent citations, our results show that PAEs acquire patents with high average technological quality. They may thus increase liquidity in the patent market and enhance its efficiency. However, after a transfer occurs, patents transferred to PAEs receive significantly fewer citations. This suggests that producing companies whose business makes their technologies close to the ones acquired by PAEs may perceive an augmented risk of being sued. As a consequence, they reduce their innovative effort in fields populated by PAEs and this reflects into lower citations flowing towards PAEs’ acquired patents. These results are robust to different measures of citations considered and to different econometric techniques.
    Keywords: Market for technology; Patent assertion entities; Patent trolls; Patent intermediaries; Patent citations; Innovation.
    JEL: O31 O34
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Anderson, Robert D.; Chen, Jianning; Müller, Anna Caroline; Novozhilkina, Daria; Pelletier, Philippe; Sen, Nivedita; Sporysheva, Nadezhda
    Abstract: Competition agency guidelines, policy statements and related advocacy are an important vehicle for policy expression and the guidance of firms across the full spectrum of anti-competitive practices and market conduct. The role of guidelines and policy statements has, arguably, been particularly important in the context of the competition policy treatment of intellectual property rights, given the complexity of this area, the importance that competition agencies attach to it, and its importance for innovation, technology transfer and economic growth. As such, this important normative material also provides a useful empirical foundation for mapping relevant trends and the evolution of policy thinking over time and across jurisdictions. In this light, the paper examines the competition agency guidelines, policy statements and related initiatives regarding intellectual property (IP) of the following three sets of jurisdictions: (i) the United States, Canada, the European Union and Australia; (ii) Japan and Korea; and (iii) the BRICS economies (Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Africa). It focuses, to the extent possible, on a common set of issues addressed in one way or another in the majority of these jurisdictions, comprising: (i) the treatment of licensing practices, including refusals to license; (ii) anti-competitive patent settlements; (iii) issues concerning standard-essential patents (SEPs); (iv) the conduct of patent assertion entities (PAEs); and (v) competition advocacy activities focused on the IP system. Additionally, while the primary focus of the paper is on competition agency guidelines, policy statements and advocacy activities relating to IP, reference is also made to enforcement and case developments where they are helpful in illustrating relevant approaches and trends. Overall, the analysis suggests, firstly, that, in contrast to the situation prevailing twenty or thirty years ago, interest in the systematic application of competition law vis-à-vis IP certainly is no longer a preoccupation of only a few traditional developed jurisdictions. Secondly, we find evidence of significant cross-jurisdictional learning processes and partial policy convergence across the jurisdictions surveyed. Thirdly, the analysis also reveals the continuing potential for coordination failures in regard to the approaches taken by national authorities in this area, for example where jurisdictions take different approaches to specific practices such as refusals to license and/or give differing weights to industrial policy as opposed to consumer welfare or other objectives in their policy applications.
    Keywords: competition agency guidelines,intellectual property,antitrust,innovation,licensing agreements,refusal to license,anti-competitive patent settlements,standard-essential patents (SEPs),patent assertion entities (PAEs),competition advocacy
    JEL: K21 L4 L41 L43 O3 O34
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Czarnitzki, Dirk; van Criekingen, Kristof
    Abstract: We contribute to the economic literature on patent litigation by taking a new perspective. In the past, scholars mostly focused on specific litigation cases at the patent level and related technological characteristics to the event of litigation. However, observing IP disputes suggests that not only technological characteristics may trigger litigation suits, but also the market positions of firms, and that firms dispute not only about single patents but often about portfolios. Consequently, this paper examines the occurrence of IP litigation cases in Belgian firms using the 2013 Community Innovation Survey with supplemental information on IP litigation and patent portfolios. The rich survey information regarding firms' general innovation strategies enables us to introduce market-related variables such as sales with new products as well as sales based mainly on imitation and incremental innovation. Our results indicate that when controlling for firms' IP portfolio, the composition of turnover in terms of innovations and imitations has additional explanatory power regarding litigation propensities. Firms with a high turnover from innovations are more likely to become plaintiffs in court. Contrastingly, firms with a high turnover from incremental innovation and imitation are more likely to become defendants in court, and, moreover, are more likely to negotiate settlements outside of court.
    Keywords: IP litigation,patenting,innovation,imitation
    JEL: O31 O34
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Arghya GHOSH; ISHIKAWA Jota
    Abstract: We examine how trade liberalization affects South's incentive to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) in a North-South duopoly model where a low-cost North firm competes with a high-cost South firm in the South market. The North firm serves the South market through either exports or foreign direct investment (FDI). The extent of effective cost difference between North and South depends on South's imitation, which in turn depends on South's IPR protection and absorptive capacity and North firm's location choice, all of which are endogenously determined in our model. For a given level of IPR protection, South's absorptive capacity under exports may be greater than under FDI. Even though innovation is exogenous to the model (and hence unaffected by South's IPR policy), strengthening IPR protection in South can improve its welfare. The relationship between trade costs and the degree of IPR protection that maximizes South welfare is non-monotone. In particular, South has an incentive to protect IPR only when trade costs are moderate. When masking technology or licensing is incorporated into the model, however, some protection of IPR may be optimal for South even if the trade costs are not moderate.
    Date: 2018–04
  5. By: Emin M. Dinlersoz; Nathan Goldschlag; Amanda Myers; Nikolas Zolas
    Abstract: This paper reports on the construction of a new dataset that combines data on trademark applications and registrations from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with data on firms from the U.S. Census Bureau. The resulting dataset allows tracking of various activity related to trademark use and protection over the life-cycle of firms, such as the first application for a trademark registration, the first use of a trademark, and the renewal, assignment, and cancellation of trademark registrations. Facts about firm-level trademark activity are documented, including the incidence and timing of trademark registration filings over the firm life-cycle and the connection between firm characteristics and trademark applications. We also explore the relation of trademark application filing to firm employment and revenue growth, and to firm innovative activity as measured by R&D and patents.
    Date: 2018–04
  6. By: Julia Cage (Département d'économie); nicolas Hervé (Institut national de l'audiovisuel); Marie-Luce Viaud (Institut national de l'audiovisuel)
    Abstract: This paper documents the extent of copying and estimates the returns to originality in online news production. We build a unique dataset combining all the online content produced by French news media (newspaper, television, radio, pure online media, and a news agency) during the year 2013 with new micro audience data. We develop a topic detection algorithm that identi_es each news event, we trace the timeline of each story and study news propagation. We unravel new evidence on online news production. First, we show that one quarter of the news stories are reproduced online in less than 4 minutes. Second, we _nd that only 32.6% of the online content is original. Third, we show that reputation e_ects partly counterbalance the negative impact of plagiarism on newsgathering incentives. By using media-level daily audience and article-level social media statistics (Facebook and Twitter shares), we _nd that original content represents between 54 and 62% of online news consumption. Reputation mechanisms actually appear to solve about 30 to 40% of the copyright violation problem.
    Keywords: internet; information spreading; copyright; investigative journalism; social media
    Date: 2018–01
  7. By: Watal, Jayashree; Caminero, Leticia
    Abstract: This paper examines the background of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement, the nature of this obligation on developed country Members that pertains to the promotion of technology transfer to LDC Members and how it is being implemented and how such implementation is being monitored in the TRIPS Council. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) mandates to developed country Members to provide incentives to enterprises and institutions in their territories for the purpose of promoting and encouraging technology transfer to least developed country (LDC) Members in order to enable them to create a sound and viable technological base. This paper introduces the background to this legal obligation; Part 2 provides an understanding of the definition of LDCs in the World Trade Organization (WTO), and thus identifies the potential beneficiaries of this obligation. Part 3 recounts the role of LDCs in the TRIPS negotiations in the Uruguay Round and how their demands were reflected in the final outcome. Part 4 focuses on the text of Article 66.2 and breaks out its main elements in order to analyse the scope and extent of this obligation. Part 5 tracks the monitoring phases of the implementation of Article 66.2 in the TRIPS Council: (a) 1995-1998: not present in the Council's agenda, (b) 1998-2000: inclusion in the agenda and notification of the first reports, (c) 2001-2003: negotiating a monitoring mechanism resulting in the Decision on Implementation of Art. 66.2 of 19 February 2003, with specific provisions on the periodicity and content of the developed country reports, (d) 2003-2016: the implementation of the monitoring mechanism, detailing the first annual review in 2003, the Secretariat-organized workshops from 2008 onwards between developed country and LDC members to review Art. 66.2 annual reports, and revised reporting format proposed by LDC Group in 2011. Part 6 analyses the reports submitted by developed country members from 2003 to 2016. The analysis focuses on the number of reports received, the broad areas of technology in which incentive programmes are being reported and how it has evolved between 2003 with 2016, which LDCs have been beneficiaries of the reported incentives and in which areas of technology. Part 7, highlights the differences in the understanding of terms "transfer of technology" and "incentives". Part 8 concludes that both developed country Members and LDC Members should take steps to improve the implementation of Article 66.2 in order to assess the impact of the Article 66.2 incentives on ground in the beneficiary LDCs.
    Keywords: technology transfer,LDCs,Article 66.2,TRIPS,incentives
    JEL: F13 O3 O31 O34 O38
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Martina Baumann; Tobias Böhm; Bodo Knoll; Nadine Riedel
    Abstract: We empirically assess international corporate tax avoidance by strategic location of innovative output. The analysis draws on the universe of patent applications to the European Patent Office linked with data on multinational entities (MNEs) in Europe. Four findings emerge: Firstly, patent holdings are distorted towards low-tax countries. Secondly, patent location in low-tax countries is correlated with a geographic separation of R&D output and input. Thirdly, MNEs systematically sort high-value (low-value) patents to low-tax (high-tax) countries. Fourthly, the propensity to locate patent ownership in low-tax countries is significantly decreased if controlled foreign company rules are enacted in the MNE’s parent country. The tightening of transfer pricing legislations, in turn, exerts a weak negative effect on the location of patent ownership only.
    Keywords: corporate patents, patent taxation, profit shifting, anti-avoidance rules
    JEL: H30 H70 J50
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Nathalie Veg-Sala (Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE) - Paris, CEROS - Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur les Organisations et la Stratégie - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre); Elyette Roux (AMU IAE - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE) - Aix-en-Provence - AMU - Aix Marseille Université)
    Date: 2017

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