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Runner-up Patents: Is Monopoly Inevitable?

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  • Emeric Henry

Abstract

Exclusive patents sacrifice product competition to provide firms incentives to innovate. We characterize an alternative mechanism whereby later inventors are allowed to share the patent if they discover within a certain time period of the first inventor. These runner-up patents increase social welfare under very general conditions. Furthermore, we show that the time window during which later inventors can share the patent should become a new policy tool at the disposal of the designer. This instrument will be used in a socially optimal mix with the breadth and length of the patent and could allow sorting between more or less efficient firms. Copyright © The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics" 2010 .

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 112 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (06)
Pages: 417-440

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:112:y:2010:i:2:p:417-440

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  1. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Mitchell, Matthew F, 2001. "Innovation Variety and Patent Breadth," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 152-66, Spring.
  2. Scotchmer, suzanne, 1998. "The Independent-Invention Defense in Intellectual Property," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt2s5174q8, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  3. Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela, 2001. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 542-558, June.
  4. Loury, Glenn C, 1979. "Market Structure and Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 395-410, August.
  5. Petra Moser, 2005. "How Do Patent Laws Influence Innovation? Evidence from Nineteenth-Century World's Fairs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1214-1236, September.
  6. Denicolo, Vincenzo, 1996. "Patent Races and Optimal Patent Breadth and Length," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 249-65, September.
  7. Klemperer, Paul, 1990. "How Broad Should the Scope of Patent Protection Be?," CEPR Discussion Papers 392, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. La Manna, Manfredi & Macleod, Ross & de Meza, David, 1989. "The case for permissive patents," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1427-1443, September.
  9. Szymanski, Stefan & Valletti, Tommaso M., 2005. "Incentive effects of second prizes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 467-481, June.
  10. Vincenzo Denicolo & Luigi A. Franzoni, 2010. "On the Winner-Take-All Principle in Innovation Races," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(5), pages 1133-1158, 09.
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Cited by:
  1. Emeric Henry, 2010. "Promising the right prize," Sciences Po publications 7758, Sciences Po.
  2. Shapiro, Carl, 2007. "Patent Reform: Aligning Reward and Contribution," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt1qm754rc, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.

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