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Firm Reputation and Incentives to "Milk" Pending Patents

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  • Johannes Koenen

    ()

  • Martin Peitz

Abstract

In this paper we develop a theory of patenting in which a firm preserves its reputation to only apply for a patent whenever a truly patentable idea has been generated. Firms have a short-run incentive to deviate and receive additional rents from unworthy pending patents, as well as potential rents from PTO mistakes in granting patents. We provide conditions for reputation to be preserved in equilibrium and analyze which market environments are favorable for such an equilibrium to exist. In particular, we analyze the merits of different patent systems.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2013/wp-cesifo-2013-07/cesifo1_wp4355.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4355.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4355

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Related research

Keywords: pending patents; reputation; patent quality; patent office policy;

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References

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  1. Nancy T. Gallini, 2002. "The Economics of Patents: Lessons from Recent U.S. Patent Reform," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 131-154, Spring.
  2. Joshua S. Gans & David H. Hsu & Scott Stern, 2008. "The Impact of Uncertain Intellectual Property Rights on the Market for Ideas: Evidence from Patent Grant Delays," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(5), pages 982-997, May.
  3. Pil Choi, J., 1997. "Brand Extension as Informational Leverage," ISER Discussion Paper 0451, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  4. Joseph P. Cook, 2007. "On Understanding the Increase in U.S. Patent Litigation," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 48-71.
  5. Crampes, Claude & Langinier, Corinne, 2002. "Litigation and Settlement in Patent Infringement Cases," Staff General Research Papers 5231, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  6. Iain M. Cockburn & Megan MacGarvie, 2007. "Patents, Thickets, and the Financing of Early-Stage Firms: Evidence from the Software Industry," NBER Working Papers 13644, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Luis M.B. Cabral, 2000. "Stretching Firm and Brand Reputation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(4), pages 658-673, Winter.
  8. Mueller, Elisabeth & Harhoff, Dietmar & Haeussler, Carolin, 2009. "To Be Financed or Not : The Role of Patents for Venture Capital Financing," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-003, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  9. Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2007. "Patents only live twice: a patent survival analysis in Europe," Working Papers CEB 07-028.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. Horstmann, Ignatius & MacDonald, Glenn M & Slivinski, Alan, 1985. "Patents as Information Transfer Mechanisms: To Patent or (Maybe) Not to Patent," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 837-58, October.
  11. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
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