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Patents, imitation and licensing in an asymmetric dynamic R&D race

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  • Fershtman, Chaim
  • Markovich, Sarit

Abstract

R&D is inherently a dynamic process which typically involves different intermediate stages that need to be developed before the completion of the final invention. Firms are not necessarily symmetric in their R&D abilities; some may have an advantage in early stages of the R&D process while others may have advantages in other stages of the process. This paper uses a two-firm asymmetric-ability multistage R&D race model to analyze the effect of patents, imitations and licensing arrangements on the speed of innovation, firm value and consumers' surplus. By using numerical analyses to study the MPE of the R&D race, the paper demonstrates the circumstances under which a weak patent protection regime, that facilitates free imitation of any intermediate technology, may yield a higher consumers' surplus and total surplus than a regime that awards a patent for the final innovation. The advantage of imitation may hold even when we allow for voluntary licensing of intermediate technologies.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 28 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 113-126

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:28:y:2010:i:2:p:113-126

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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Keywords: Patents Licensing R&D race;

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References

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  10. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 1997. "Markov Perfect Equilibrium, I: Observable Actions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1799, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Slivko, Olga & Theilen, Bernd, 2011. "Innovation or Imitation? The effect of spillovers and competitive pressure on firms' R&D strategy choice," Working Papers 2072/179618, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  2. Olga Slivko & Bernd Theilen, 2014. "Innovation or imitation? The effect of spillovers and competitive pressure on firms’ R&D strategy choice," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 112(3), pages 253-282, July.

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