nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2019‒02‒11
four papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. The transformations of conventions for patent use and the role of legal intermediaries By Christian Bessy
  2. Technology and persistence in global software piracy By Asongu, Simplice; Meniago, Christelle
  3. Universal Intellectual Property Rights: Too Much of a Good Thing? By Auriol, Emmanuelle; Biancini, Sara; Paillacar, Rodrigo
  4. Why do innovators not apply for trademarks? The role of information asymmetries and collaborative innovation By Athreye, Suma; Fassio, Claudio

  1. By: Christian Bessy (IDHES - Institutions et Dynamiques Historiques de l'Économie et de la Société - ENS Cachan - École normale supérieure - Cachan - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - UP8 - Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - UEVE - Université d'Évry-Val-d'Essonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Today, the patent system is facing a paradox. It has never been so successful, yet at the same time it has attracted severe criticism, such as the call to return to the "commons". This article argues that the success of the patent at the 'macro' level is linked to the proliferation of the ways it is used at the ‘micro' level: as a tool for the protection and diffusion of innovations, as an instrument of market power and technological valorisation, as a signal and instrument of negotiation, as a valuable corporate asset. These uses would somehow be superimposed since the genesis of the patent system, without cancelling the previous ones. This article proposes an analysis of the contemporary evolution of this legal institution by distinguishing different conventions for patent use as well as legal intermediaries which contribute to their definition, diffusion, and transformation, in particular patent attorneys. Although this explanatory outline draws mainly on the case of France, it can be extended to other countries.
    Keywords: K49-Legal procedure (other),L15-Information and product quality,O34-Intellectual property rights,JEL: O31-Innovation and invention: processes and incentives
    Date: 2019–01–22
  2. By: Asongu, Simplice; Meniago, Christelle
    Abstract: This study examines the persistence of software piracy with internet penetration vis-à-vis of PC users, conditional on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) institutions. The empirical evidence is based on a panel of 99 countries for the period 1994-2010 and the Generalised Method of Moments. The main finding is that, compared to internet penetration, PC usage is more responsible for the persistence of global software piracy. Knowing how technology affects the persistence of piracy is important because it enables more targeted policy initiatives. We show that the sensitivity of software piracy to IPRs mechanisms is contingent on the specific technology channels through which the pirated software is consumed.
    Keywords: Piracy; Business Software; Software piracy; Intellectual Property Rights
    JEL: F42 K42 O34 O38 O57
    Date: 2018–01
  3. By: Auriol, Emmanuelle; Biancini, Sara; Paillacar, Rodrigo
    Abstract: Developing countries' incentives to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) are studied in a model of vertical innovation. Enforcing IPR boosts export opportunities to advanced economies but slows down technological transfers and incentives to invest in R&D. Asymmetric protection of IPR, strict in the North and lax in the South, leads in many cases to a higher world level of innovation than universal enforcement. IPR enforcement is U-shaped in the relative size of the export market compared to the domestic one: rich countries and small/poor countries enforce IPR, the former to protect their innovations, the latter to access foreign markets, while large emerging countries free-ride on rich countries' technology to serve their internal demand.
    Keywords: Intellectual Property Rights; Innovation; Imitation; Duopoly; Developing Countries
    JEL: F12 F13 F15 L13 O31 O34
    Date: 2019–01
  4. By: Athreye, Suma (Essex Business School); Fassio, Claudio (CIRCLE, Lund University)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the underlying reasons why innovators do not apply for trademarks for all of their valuable inventions. Using a unique database of UK innovations linked to innovative firms, the empirical analysis highlights the many ways that firms can alleviate information asymmetries and the constraints imposed by collaborative innovation without taking recourse to trademarks. When information asymmetries are not at stake, i.e. when firms use an already existing trademark for their innovations or when they use intermediaries for its distribution, trademarks no longer serve their purpose, leading firms to avoid using it for their innovations. Open innovation also decreases the incentive to trademark, especially when the innovative process involves users, mainly because of property rights issues or because the innovator prefers to use the clients’ own distribution channels.
    Keywords: rademarks; innovation; intellectual property; open innovation
    JEL: O31 O34
    Date: 2019–02–04

This nep-ipr issue is ©2019 by Giovanni Ramello. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.