Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Sequential innovation, patents, and imitation

Contents:

Author Info

  • James Bessen
  • Eric Maskin

Abstract

We argue that when innovation is sequential (so that each successive invention builds in an essential way on its predecessors) and complementary (so that each potential innovator takes a different research line), patent protection is not as useful for encouraging innovation as in a static setting. Indeed, society and even inventors themselves may be better off without such protection. Furthermore, an inventor's prospective profit may actually be enhanced by competition and imitation. Our sequential model of innovation appears to explain evidence from a natural experiment in the software industry. Copyright (c) 2009, RAND.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1756-2171.2009.00081.x
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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 Info

Article provided by RAND Corporation in its journal The RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 40 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 611-635

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:40:y:2009:i:4:p:611-635

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 1776 Main Street, P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, California 90407-2138
Phone: 310-393-0411
Fax: 310-393-4818
Email:
Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0741-6261
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0741-6261

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Robert M Hunt, 2003. "Patentability, Industry Structure and Innovation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000689, David K. Levine.
  2. Nancy Gallini & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2002. "Intellectual Property: When Is It the Best Incentive System?," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 2, pages 51-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. James Bessen & Robert M Hunt, 2004. "An Empirical Look at Software Patents," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000167, David K. Levine.
  4. Machlup, Fritz & Penrose, Edith, 1950. "The Patent Controversy in the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(01), pages 1-29, May.
  5. Pankaj Tandon, 1983. "Rivalry and the Excessive Allocation of Resources to Research," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 152-165, Spring.
  6. Ted O'Donoghue & Suzanne Scotchmer & Jacques-François Thisse, 1998. "Patent Breadth, Patent Life, and the Pace of Technological Progress," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 1-32, 03.
  7. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
  8. Shavell, Steven & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2001. "Rewards versus Intellectual Property Rights," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 525-47, October.
  9. Fershtman, Chaim & Kamien, Morton I., 1992. "Cross licensing of complementary technologies," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 329-348, September.
  10. Bessen, James, 2005. "Patents and the diffusion of technical information," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 121-128, January.
  11. Ariel Pakes & Mark Schankerman, 1979. "The Rate of Obsolescence Of Knowledge, Research Gestation Lags, and the Private Rate of Return to Research Resources," NBER Working Papers 0346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1988. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial R&D," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 862, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  13. Bessen, James, 2004. "Holdup and licensing of cumulative innovations with private information," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 321-326, March.
  14. Gallini, Nancy T, 1984. "Deterrence by Market Sharing: A Strategic Incentive for Licensing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 931-41, December.
  15. Silverberg, G. & Verspagen, B., 2004. "The size distribution of innovations revisited: an application of extreme value statistics to citation and value measures of patent significance," Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS) working paper series 04.17, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS).
  16. Dasgupta, Partha & Maskin, Eric, 1987. "The Simple Economics of Research Portfolios," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 581-95, September.
  17. Suzanne Scotchmer & Jerry Green, 1990. "Novelty and Disclosure in Patent Law," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 131-146, Spring.
  18. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
  19. Loury, Glenn C, 1979. "Market Structure and Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 395-410, August.
  20. Grossman, Sanford J., 1977. "A characterization of the optimality of equilibrium in incomplete markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-15, June.
  21. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "How to License Intangible Property," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 567-89, August.
  22. Spence, Michael, 1984. "Cost Reduction, Competition, and Industry Performance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 101-21, January.
  23. Lee, Tom & Wilde, Louis L, 1980. "Market Structure and Innovation: A Reformulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 429-36, March.
  24. Mansfield, Edwin & Schwartz, Mark & Wagner, Samuel, 1981. "Imitation Costs and Patents: An Empirical Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(364), pages 907-18, December.
  25. Scherer, F. M. & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2000. "Technology policy for a world of skew-distributed outcomes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 559-566, April.
  26. Ariel Pakes & Mark Schankerman, 1984. "The Rate of Obsolescence of Patents, Research Gestation Lags, and the Private Rate of Return to Research Resources," NBER Chapters, in: R & D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 73-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Wiggins, Steven N & Libecap, Gary D, 1985. "Oil Field Unitization: Contractual Failure in the Presence of Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 368-85, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. “Technology and Learning by Factory Workers: The Stretch-Out at Lowell, 1842,” J. Bessen (2003)
    by afinetheorem in A Fine Theorem on 2013-08-20 08:49:04
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:40:y:2009:i:4:p:611-635. See general 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.