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University patents, R&D competition, and social welfare

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  • Roberto Mazzoleni

Abstract

Although university patenting has increased dramatically over the past three decades, debates persist regarding the broad economic implications of the phenomenon. This article examines the social welfare implications of university patenting in a model of R&D competition in which firms develop innovations on the basis of the disclosure of a university invention. When such disclosure does not preempt the patenting of downstream innovations, university patenting enhances social welfare only if a regime of open access to university inventions is characterized by excessive aggregate R&D from the viewpoint of social welfare. When the university invention disclosure preempts patenting on firms' innovations, the nature of the open access equilibrium in the R&D market depends on the threat of imitation ex post. Only when the threat of imitation is sufficiently strong firms will not invest in downstream R&D in the open access regime. In this case, university patenting promotes R&D investment and increases social welfare.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1043859042000269124
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Economics of Innovation and New Technology.

Volume (Year): 14 (2005)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 499-515

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:14:y:2005:i:6:p:499-515

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Related research

Keywords: University patents; R&D competition; Licensing;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Carlos Rosell & Ajay Agrawal, 2006. "University Patenting: Estimating the Diminishing Breadth of Knowledge Diffusion and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 12640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Aldo Geuna & Alessandro Muscio, 2008. "The governance of University knowledge transfer," SPRU Working Paper Series 173, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  3. Gustavo Crespi & Aldo Geuna & Bart Verspagen, 2007. "University IPRs and Knowledge Transfer. Is the IPR ownership model more efficient?," SPRU Working Paper Series 154, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  4. Rosell, Carlos & Agrawal, Ajay, 2009. "Have university knowledge flows narrowed?: Evidence from patent data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 1-13, February.
  5. Nicola Lacetera, 2009. "Academic entrepreneurship," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(7), pages 443-464.
  6. Roberto Mazzoleni, 2006. "The Effects of University Patenting and Licensing on Downstream R&D Investment and Social Welfare," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 431-441, 07.
  7. LUCIANO MARTINS COSTA PÓVOA & Márcia SiqueiraRapini, 2011. "Technology Transferfrom Universities And Public Research Institutes To Firms In Brazil:What Is Transferred And How The Transfer Is Made," Anais do XXXVII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 37th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 149, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].

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