nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2022‒11‒14
three papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Innovation with and without patents By Josef Taalbi
  2. A New Empirical Index to Track the Technological Novelty of Inventions: A Sector Level Analysis By Yuan Gao; Emiliya Lazarova
  3. The Economics of Transferable Patent Extensions By Dubois, Pierre; Moisson, Paul-Henri; Tirole, Jean

  1. By: Josef Taalbi
    Abstract: A long-standing discussion is to what extent patents can be used to monitor trends in innovation activity. This study quantifies the amount and quality of information about actual innovation contained in the patent system, based on 4,460 Swedish innovations (1970-2015) that have been matched to international patents. The results show that most innovations were not patented and that among those that were, 43.9% of all innovations, only a fraction can be identified with patent quality data. The best-performing models identify 17% of all information about innovations, equivalent to an information loss of at least 83%. Econometric tests also show that the fraction of innovations responding to strengthened patent laws during the period were on average 8% percent. The overlap between the patent and innovation systems is hence more modest than often assumed. This accentuates the need to, alongside patents, develop versatile approaches in order to induce and monitor various aspects of innovation.
    Date: 2022–10
  2. By: Yuan Gao (School of Economics, University of East Anglia); Emiliya Lazarova (School of Economics, University of East Anglia)
    Abstract: We propose the Knowledge Origin Re-Combination Index (KORCI) to measure the ex-ante technological novelty of inventions at the sectoral level. The index is developed through the intertemporal comparison of a sequence of networks, which represents the complex 10 connections between the technological components listed in subsequent cohorts of patent applications in the sector. Using patent data from three sectors, we are the first to document the cyclical nature of the evolution of ex-ante technological novelty. Further investigation into the correlation between KORCI and patent application growth rates suggests that this relation, however, is sector-specific. This suggests that the relation between the degree of ex-ante 15 technological novelty and invention activities depends on the specific drivers of innovation in the sector – whether it is process-based or application-based.
    Date: 2022–10
  3. By: Dubois, Pierre; Moisson, Paul-Henri; Tirole, Jean
    Abstract: Faced with a scarcity of treatments for neglected diseases, experts and governmental organizations have lately proposed to build strong pull incentives around transferable vouchers. Inventors would be granted, and allowed to sell these vouchers to pharmas desiring to extend their exclusive IP rights. However, we know little about how such “Transferable Exclusivity Extensions” fare relative to prizes, who is likely to acquire them and at what cost for society, or how the burden is shared among nations. We shed light on these questions, both from a theoretical perspective and from an empirical analysis of European data.
    Keywords: Vouchers; pull mechanisms; burden sharing; administered drug prices; prizes;
    JEL: I18 L5 O3
    Date: 2022–11–02

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