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Patent law and complementary innovations

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Author Info

  • Ménière, Yann

Abstract

This paper explores which patent policy should be applied to complementary innovations that are aggregated into broader technologies. I compare a setting in which complementary innovations must be bundled prior to patenting, with a second setting in which they can be patented separately. The first setting can improve static efficiency by avoiding the costs resulting from the scattering of complementary patents. But it also limits the disclosure of small innovations, which may lead to inefficient R&D cost duplications. A model capturing these effects shows that patenting complementary innovations separately is not efficient when innovations can be developed rapidly. This result justifies the enforcement of a severe "inventive step" or "non-obviousness" requirement in sectors where complementary innovations are frequent.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 52 (2008)
Issue (Month): 7 (October)
Pages: 1125-1139

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:52:y:2008:i:7:p:1125-1139

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

Related research

Keywords: Innovation Patent R&D Complementarity;

References

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  1. O'DONOGHUE, Ted & SCOTCHMER, Suzanne & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Patent breadth, patent life, and the pace of technological progress," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1314, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Efficient Patent Pools," NBER Working Papers 9175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Stuart J. H. Graham & Bronwyn H. Hall & Dietmar Harhoff & David C. Mowery, 2002. "Post-Issue Patent "Quality Control": A Comparative Study of US Patent Re-examinations and European Patent Oppositions," NBER Working Papers 8807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jaffe, Adam B., 2000. "The U.S. patent system in transition: policy innovation and the innovation process," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 531-557, April.
  5. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Yijuan Chen, 2010. "Innovation Frequency of Durable Complementary Goods," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2010-515, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  2. Denicolò, Vincenzo & Halmenschlager, Christine, 2012. "Optimal patentability requirements with complementary innovations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 190-204.

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