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Simultaneous signaling and output royalties in licensing contracts

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Abstract

This paper analyzes a two-period licensing model where an upstream patent holder licenses an innovation, by per-unit output royalty contracts, to several downstream licensees. Such firms compete in Cournot fashion at the product market and each firm's cost is directly unobservable for third parties. In such a context, the optimal royalties when licensees' outputs signal their costs through the output produced on the first period are examined and compared with those they would be if licensees' outputs were not a signal of such costs. It is shown that low-cost licensees have an incentive to misrepresent themselves as high-cost firms. This leads, when the efficiency gap between licensees is low enough, the first-period per-unit output royalties to be higher (resp. lower) than they would be if firms' output were not a signal of their costs provided that the probability of licensees being low-cost producers is very high (resp. low or moderate). Results are extended to the case of a large efficiency gap between licensees, and that of downstream Bertrand licensees who produce differentiated goods using the innovation and may signal their marginal costs through price choices of the first period.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centro de Estudios Andaluces in its series Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces with number E2004/53.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cea:doctra:e2004_53

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Keywords: Patent licensing; per-unit output royalties; unobservable costs; signaling and no-signaling equilibrium;

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  1. Jean Tirole & Jean-Jaques Laffont, 1985. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Working papers 368, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "On the Management of Innovation," IDEI Working Papers 36, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  3. Ashish Arora, 1995. "Licensing Tacit Knowledge: Intellectual Property Rights And The Market For Know-How," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 41-60.
  4. Macho-Stadler, Ines & Martinez-Giralt, Xavier & David Perez-Castrillo, J., 1996. "The role of information in licensing contract design," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 43-57, January.
  5. David M Kreps & Robert Wilson, 2003. "Sequential Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000813, David K. Levine.
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  7. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "How to License Intangible Property," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 567-89, August.
  8. Robert Gertner & Robert Gibbons & David Scharfstein, 1987. "Simultaneous Signaling to the Capital and Product Markets," Working papers 449, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Mailath, George J, 1989. "Simultaneous Signaling in an Oligopoly Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 417-27, May.
  10. Ramon Fauli-Oller & Joel Sandonis, 2000. "To Merge or to License: Implications for Competition Policy," Discussion Papers 1284, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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  12. ERUTKU, C. & RICHELLE, Yves, 2000. "Optimal Licensing Contracts and the Value of a Patent," Cahiers de recherche 2000-07, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  13. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "The Management of Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1185-1209, November.
  14. Kamien, Morton I. & Oren, Shmuel S. & Tauman, Yair, 1992. "Optimal licensing of cost-reducing innovation," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 483-508.
  15. Anand, Bharat N & Khanna, Tarun, 2000. "The Structure of Licensing Contracts," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 103-35, March.
  16. Erutku, C. & Richelle, Y., 2000. "Optimal Licensing Contracts and the Value of a Patent," Cahiers de recherche 2000-07, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  17. Bousquet, Alain & Cremer, Helmuth & Ivaldi, Marc & Wolkowicz, Michel, 1998. "Risk sharing in licensing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 535-554, September.
  18. Kamien, Morton I & Tauman, Yair, 1986. "Fees versus Royalties and the Private Value of a Patent," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 471-91, August.
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