Patent Breadth, Patent Life, and the Pace of Technological Progress
AbstractIn active investment climates where firms sequentially improve each other's products, a patent can terminate either because it expires or because a non-infringing innovation displaces its product in the market. We define the length of time until one of these happens as the effective patent life, and show how it depends on patent breadth. We distinguish lagging breadth, which protects against imitation, from leading breadth, which protects against new improved products. We compare two types of patent policy with leading breadth: (1) patents are finite but very broad, so that the effective life of a patent coincides with its statutory life, and (2) patents are long but narrow, so that the effective life of a patent ends when a better product replaces it. The former policy improves the diffusion of new products, but the latter has lower R&D costs. Copyright (c) 1998 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economics & Management Strategy.
Volume (Year): 7 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/journals/JEMS/
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.