nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2018‒08‒27
six papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Patent licensing in a Cournot oligopoly: general results By Sen, Debapriya; Tauman, Yair
  2. Foreign Competition and Domestic Innovation: Evidence from U.S. Patents By David Autor; David Dorn; Gary Pisano; Gordon Hanson; Pian Shu
  3. Advance Selling, Competition, and Brand Substitutability By Oksana Loginova
  5. Patents to Products: Innovation and Firm Performance By David Argente; Douglas Hanley; Salome Baslandze; Sara Moreira
  6. Trade secrets and innovation: Evidence from the "inevitable disclosure" doctrine By Contigiani, Andrea; Hsu, David H.; Barankay, Iwan

  1. By: Sen, Debapriya; Tauman, Yair
    Abstract: This paper presents a comprehensive analysis of patent licensing in a Cournot oligopoly with general demand and looks at both outside and incumbent innovators. The licensing policies considered are upfront fees, unit royalties and combinations of fees and royalties (FR policies). It is shown that (i) royalties unambiguously ensure full diffusion of the innovation while diffusion is limited under upfront fees, (ii) the Cournot price is higher under royalties compared to upfront fees and the price could even exceed the post-innovation monopoly price, (iii) for generic values of magnitudes of the innovation, when the industry size is relatively large, royalties are superior to upfront fees for the innovator and (iv) for any m, there is always a non empty subset of m-drastic innovations such that for relatively large industry sizes, upfront fee policy results in higher consumer surplus as well as welfare compared to both royalty and FR policies.
    Keywords: patent licensing; m-drastic innovation; royalties; upfront fees; FR policy
    JEL: D4 D43 D45 L13 L24
    Date: 2018–08
  2. By: David Autor (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); David Dorn (University of Zurich); Gary Pisano; Gordon Hanson (University of California, San Diego); Pian Shu (Georgia Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: The competitive shock to the U.S. manufacturing sector spurred by rising China import competition could either catalyze or stifle innovation. Using three distinct sources of variation to identify rising trade exposure, we provide a causal analysis of the effect of surging import competition on U.S. innovative activities. Applying a novel internet-based matching algorithm to map all U.S. utility patents granted by 2013 to firm-level data, and carefully accounting for the shifting concentration of patenting activity across sectors, we document a robust, negative impact of rising Chinese competition on firm-level and technology class-level patent production. Accompanying this fall in innovation, global employment, sales, profitability, and R&D expenditure all decline within trade-exposed firms. The trade-induced contraction along all margins of adjustment and for all measures of valuation suggest that the primary response of firms to greater import competition is to scale back their global operations.
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Oksana Loginova (University of Missouri)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of competition on the benefits of advance selling. I construct a two-period price-setting game with two firms that produce different brands serving heterogeneous consumers. Some consumers prefer one brand, others prefer the other brand. Consumers derive common value from their preferred brand, but they differ in how strongly they dislike their less preferred brand. One of the firms can offer consumers the opportunity to pre-order its product in advance of the regular selling season. I calculate the benefits of advance selling when this firm faces competition from the other firm in the regular selling season and when it does not. Competition is shown to enhance the benefits of advance selling when in the advance selling season consumers are uncertain about which brand they will prefer. Comparative statics analysis with respect to brand substitutability reveal some interesting results.
    Keywords: advance selling, price competition, strategic consumers, valuation uncertainty, consumer heterogeneity, substitutability of brands
    JEL: C72 D42 D43 L12 L13 M31
    Date: 2016–10
  4. By: Lowenberg-DeBoer, J.; Musa, Shehu
    Abstract: With five million bags sold in the 2007-2015 period and thousands of rural vendors, the Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bags have been a very successful innovation for African and Asian farmers. The primary Purdue University intellectual property (IP) in PICS is the trademark. The goal of this study is to describe the role of PICS trademark licensing in the PICS success. Some key points from the study: • Trademarking PJCS seems to have been an effective strategy for combating low quality imitators. Initially, PICS trademarking was suggested by a Nigerian PICS manufacturer as a way to manage imitators. While several large manufacturers have made their own version of the triple layer PICS bag, none of those larger businesses tried to use the trademark. The small "backyard" manufacturers who tried to use the trademark stopped when sent a cease and desist letter by Purdue. Anecdotal accounts indicate that West African farmers have confidence in PICS trademarked bags and prefer to buy them to store their crops. • As donorfunding wound downfor PJCS projects, the trademark became the main mechanism for Purdue support to manufacturers and licensees. The trademark license provides a formal, legal structure within which that relationship can function. Ina context where national institutions are weak, many manufacturers and distributors find that technical support from Purdue attractive. The support provided ranged widely from help with manufacturing problems to facilitating succession when a licensee died without leaving succession plans. • PJCS has shown that African and Asian licensees are willing topay licensefees, but the transactions and opportunity costs are high on both sides. Those transactions costs include bank wire fees, exchange costs, staff effort and informal taxes required for the paperwork. In the developing country context where cash is hard to come by and work capital perpetually lacking, there is a real opportunity cost of sending some of that money out of the country, instead of reinvesting it in the business. • The sustainability of the PJCS brand probably requires moving management outside of the university. University business processes are slow and cumbersome. Management costs are high because of public sector accounting and personnel rules. University faculty and staff have many responsibilities; they cannot devote full time to commercialization of an innovation. • The most durable impact of the PICS project is in the private investment in developing the next generation of hermetic grain storage for smallholder farmers. Twenty years ago those companies would have dismissed the idea of developing grain storage technology for small holder farmers. The perception was that smallholder farmers lacked the entrepreneurial motivation and/or the cash flow to be a substantial market. PICS showed the business community that there is a market on smallholder farms for technologies that solve their problems.
    Keywords: International Development, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies
    Date: 2017–02
  5. By: David Argente (University of Chicago); Douglas Hanley (University of Pittsburgh); Salome Baslandze (EIEF - Einaudi Institute for Economics a); Sara Moreira (Northwestern University)
    Abstract: What do standard patent-based innovation measures capture? Using the unique match of firms’ patenting activities and their product introduction in the con sumer goods sector, we study the relationship between patents and innovation. Our current results indicate that both at the extensive margin and the intensive margin, patents (and citations-adjusted patents) are strongly associated with higher product introduction as well as product destruction and hence larger re allocation at the firm level. We provide additional evidence that this association is at least partly causal. Firms that are patenting also introduce products of higher quality, enjoy larger sales and hold more diverse set of products. We disentangle the effect of patents on product versus process innovation, distinction that has been hard to measure from standard data sources. We find that the effect of patenting on product creation is larger for smaller firms, while the process innovation seems more pronounced in larger firms. Textual analysis of patents and product descriptions sheds additional light on the exact transmission of innovation embedded in the patents into specific product creation.
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Contigiani, Andrea; Hsu, David H.; Barankay, Iwan
    Abstract: Does heightened employer-friendly trade secrecy protection help or hinder innovation? By examining U.S. state-level legal adoption of a doctrine allowing employers to curtail inventor mobility if the employee would "inevitably disclose" trade secrets, we investigate the impact of a shifting trade secrecy regime on individual- level patenting outcomes. Using a difference-in-differences design taking un-affected U.S. inventors as the comparison group, we find strengthening employer-friendly trade secrecy adversely affects innovation. We then investigate why. We do not find empirical support for diminished idea recombination from suppressed inventor mobility as the operative mechanism. While shifting intellectual property protection away from patenting into trade secrecy has some explanatory power, our results are consistent with reduced individual-level incentives to signaling quality to the external labor market.
    Keywords: innovation,trade secrets,knowledge workers,labor markets,inter-firm mobility
    Date: 2018

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