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Trade Secret vs. Broad Patent: The Role of Licensing

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Author Info

  • Cugno Franco

    (Università di Torino, Italy)

  • Ottoz Elisabetta

    (Università di Torino, Italy)

Abstract

We present a simple model wherein a patents regime is inferior to a trade secrets system, meaning that when private returns from innovation under the two regimes are the same, society will be better off if the innovator chooses not to patent. In our model, trade secret licensing is envisaged and the inferiority of patents depends on the lack of an independent invention defense in patent law, while such a defense currently exists in secrecy and copyright law. Thus, although secrecy is superior to patents, it is not superior to other types of formal intellectual property rights where independent invention is allowed (such as copyrighted software).

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Review of Law & Economics.

Volume (Year): 2 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
Pages: 209-221

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:rlecon:v:2:y:2006:i:2:n:3

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Cited by:
  1. Ponzetto, Giacomo AM, 2012. "Intellectual Property Rights and Efficient Firm Organization," CEPR Discussion Papers 9212, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Ottoz, Elisabetta & Cugno, Franco, 2011. "Choosing the scope of trade secret law when secrets complement patents," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 219-227.
  3. Antonelli Cristiano, 2012. "Compulsory licensing: the foundations of an institutional innovation," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201207, University of Turin.
  4. Bronwyn Hall & Christian Helmers & Mark Rogers & Vania Sena, 2014. "The Choice between Formal and Informal Intellectual Property: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(2), pages 375-423, June.
  5. Cugno, Franco & Ottoz, Elisabetta, 2006. "Static inefficiency of compulsory licensing: Quantity vs. price competition," POLIS Working Papers 73, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.

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