nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2021‒05‒31
two papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Competition and Innovation: the effects of scientist mobility and stronger patent rights By Ganguly, Madhuparna
  2. Some policy lessons from medical/therapeutic responses to the COVID-19 Crisis: A rich research system for knowledge generation and dysfunctional institutions for its exploitation By Giovanni Dosi

  1. By: Ganguly, Madhuparna
    Abstract: We analyze the relationship between innovation attributes and competition intensity in a framework of endogenous knowledge spillover due to scientist mobility, and identify the effects of stronger patents on innovation at different levels of product market competition. We �nd non-monotone relations of patenting propensity, innovation incentives and investment in R&D, and monotone relation of scientist mobility, with potential product market competition intensity. The study further shows that stronger patent laws reduce (increase) innovation profitability (R&D expenditure) when the market for the new product is moderately competitive, and have no effect otherwise. The results suggest important implications for patent policy reforms.
    Keywords: Competition intensity; Innovation; Patent strength; Scientist mobility
    JEL: D43 J60 L11 L13 O34
    Date: 2021–05–19
  2. By: Giovanni Dosi
    Abstract: This note discusses the medical/therapeutical responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and their "political economy" context. First, the very quick development of several vaccines highlights the richness of the basic knowledge waiting for therapeutical exploitation. Such knowledge has largely originated in public or non-profit institutions. Second, symmetrically, there is longer-term evidence that the private sector (essentially Big Pharma) has decreased its investment in basic research in general, and has long been uninterested in vaccines in particular. Only when flooded with an enormous amount of public money it became eager to undertake applied research, production scale-up and testing. Third, the "political economy" of the underlying public-private relationship reveals a profound dysfunctionality with the public being unable to determine the rates and direction of innovation, but at the same time confined to the role of payer of first and last resort, with dire consequences for both advanced, and more so, developing countries. Fourth, on normative grounds, measures like ad hoc patent waivers are certainly welcome, but this will not address the fundamental challenge, involving a deep reform of the Intellectual Property Rights regimes and their international protection (TRIPS Agreements).
    Keywords: Covid-19 pandemic; vaccines; Intellectual property rights; TRPS; innovation; public goods.
    Date: 2021–05–25

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