nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2019‒08‒12
five papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. The Rush for Patents in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: An Exploration of Patenting Activity at the European Patent Office By Mario Benassi; Elena Grinza; Francesco Rentocchini
  2. Technology and persistence in global software piracy By Simplice A. Asongu; Christelle Meniago
  3. Should There Be Lower Taxes On Patent Income? By Gaessler, Fabian; Hall, Bronwyn H.; Harhoff, Dietmar
  4. Patent Protection and Threat of Litigation in Oligopoly By Carlo Capuano; Iacopo Grassi; Riccardo Martina
  5. Patents, Data Exclusivity, and the Development of New Drugs By Gaessler, Fabian; Wagner, Stefan

  1. By: Mario Benassi (University of Milan, Italy); Elena Grinza (University of Milan, Italy); Francesco Rentocchini (University of Milan, Italy)
    Abstract: Objectives. The main objective of the present study is to provide a comprehensive coverage of the patenting activity at the European Patent Office by companies in the remit of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). We also aim at moving forward the understanding of the firm-level patenting activity of 4IR technologies. Methodology. We do so by conducting an empirical assessment of the development of technologies related to the 4IR via the analysis of patents filed at the European Patent Office between 1985 and 2014. We employ a new matched patent-firm data set provided by the Bureau Van Dijk: ORBIS-IP. Findings. In line with results from the recent literature, we find evidence of a surge in patenting activity related to the 4IR in the past three decades, particularly in networked devices. Our results also suggest that firms filing 4IR patents have become progressively younger on average. At the same time, we find a steady growth in the average number of 4IR patent applications filed yearly by each company. Research limits. Our exploration is a first step towards a better comprehension of the 4IR patent arena. Being mainly a “thick” description, we did not analyze antecedents and effects of 4IR patent applications. A comparative and longitudinal analysis of patent applications and patents granted would be a first step in this direction. As a second step, quantitative and qualitative studies on how 4IR patents contribute to firms’ exploration and exploitation capabilities as well as to firm performance would be highly beneficial. Practical implications. Further variance decompositions show that the surge in 4IR patent applications is mainly explained by incumbent firms filing more 4IR patent applications over time, rather than new entrants progressively populating the 4IR world. Finally, we uncover a general trend emerging at the firm level, whereby firms tend to specialize in few technological areas and avoid differentiation. Originality of the study. Despite a surging interest related to the 4IR from different stakeholders (mainly practitioners and policy makers), comparatively less attention has come from academia, which has focused on the single technologies comprising the 4IR such as artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing and the internet of things. Although there is a solid body of scholarship in the area of engineering and information systems that has focused on the topic (see surveys from Lu, 2017 and Liao, 2017), comparatively less studies are available within the management and economics fields. We aim at fill this gap by providing a detailed empirical assessment of the 4IR as a whole. We do so by analyzing patenting activity at the EPO in all the possible technological fields comprising the 4IR. We also attempt a first focus of patenting activity in the 4IR at the firm-level by characterizing companies along several dimensions.
    Keywords: Fourth Industrial Revolution; Industry 4.0; matched patent-firm data; patent applications; EPO.
    JEL: O30 O33 O34
    Date: 2019–06
  2. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroon); Christelle Meniago (Sol Plaatje University, South Africa)
    Abstract: This study examines the persistence of software piracy with internet penetration vis-Ã -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: Gaessler, Fabian (MPI-IC Munich); Hall, Bronwyn H. (MPI-IC Munich); Harhoff, Dietmar (MPI-IC Munich)
    Abstract: A \"patent box\" is a term for the application of a lower corporate tax rate to the income derived from the ownership of patents. This tax subsidy instrument has been introduced in a number of countries since 2000. Using comprehensive data on patents filed at the European Patent Office, including information on ownership transfers pre- and post-grant, we investigate the impact of the introduction of a patent box on international patent transfers, on the choice of ownership location, and on invention in the relevant country. We find that the impact on transfers is small but present, especially when the tax instrument contains a development condition and for high value patents (those most likely to have generated income), but that invention itself is not affected. This calls into question whether the patent box is an effective instrument for encouraging innovation in a country, rather than simply facilitating the shifting of corporate income to low tax jurisdictions.
    Keywords: patent box; ip box; innovation tax; beps; epo; invention incentive; patent ownership;
    JEL: H32 K34 O34
    Date: 2019–08–05
  4. By: Carlo Capuano (Università di Napoli Federico II); Iacopo Grassi (Università di Napoli Federico II); Riccardo Martina (Università di Napoli Federico II and CSEF)
    Abstract: In a context of imperfect patent protection, this paper analyses the strategic use of patents from a novel perspective; patents are seen as a means available to the incumbent firm to control entry and, more importantly, to influence the post-entry market interaction process effectively, by creating the conditions that favour collusion. The level of patent protection chosen by the incumbent affects the likelihood that a potential entrant will be found guilty of patent infringement. This mechanism can operate as a punishment device that eases the conditions for collusion sustainability. Therefore, in a sense, patent protection can be regarded as an instrument allowing replication of the monopoly outcome in the context of a contestable market.
    Keywords: patents, patent portfolio, litigation, collusion, foreclosing, entry game
    JEL: D43 K21 L13
    Date: 2019–07–27
  5. By: Gaessler, Fabian (MPI-IC Munich); Wagner, Stefan (ESMT Berlin)
    Abstract: Pharmaceutical firms typically enjoy market exclusivity for new drugs from concurrent protection of the underlying invention (through patents) and the clinical trials data submitted for market approval (through data exclusivity). Patent invalidation during drug development renders data exclusivity the sole source of protection and shifts the period of market exclusivity at the project level. In instrumental variables regressions we quantify the effect of a one-year reduction in expected market exclusivity on the likelihood of drug commercialization. The effect is largely driven by patent invalidations early in the drug development process and by the responses of large originators. We hereby provide first estimates of the responsiveness of R&D investments to market exclusivity expectations.
    Keywords: patents; drugs; data exclusivity; clinical trials;
    JEL: K41 L24 L65 O31 O32 O34
    Date: 2019–08–05

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