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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 an inherently dynamic process which involves different intermediate steps 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 advantages in early stages of the R&D process while others may have advantages in other stages of the process. The paper uses a simple two-firm asymmetric ability multistage R&D race model to analyse the effect of different types of patent policy regimes and licensing arrangement on the speed of innovation, firm value and consumers' surplus. The paper demonstrates the circumstances under which a weak patent protection regime, which facilitates free imitation of any intermediate technology, may yield a higher overall surplus than a regime that awards patent for the final innovation. This result holds even in cases where the length of the patent is optimally calculated.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5481.

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Date of creation: Feb 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5481

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Keywords: licensing; patent protection; R&D race;

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References

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  1. Klemperer, Paul, 1990. "How Broad Should the Scope of Patent Protection Be?," CEPR Discussion Papers 392, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Reinganum, Jennifer F., . "Dynamic Games of Innovation," Working Papers 287, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  3. Reinganum, Jennifer F., 1989. "The timing of innovation: Research, development, and diffusion," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 849-908 Elsevier.
  4. Steve A. Lippman & Kevin F. McCardle, 1987. "Dropout Behavior in R&D Races with Learning," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 287-295, Summer.
  5. By Kenneth L. Judd & Karl Schmedders & Şevin Yeltekin, 2012. "Optimal Rules For Patent Races," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(1), pages 23-52, 02.
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  7. Denicolo, Vincenzo, 1999. "The optimal life of a patent when the timing of innovation is stochastic," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 827-846, August.
  8. 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.
  9. Ariel Pakes & Paul McGuire, 1992. "Computing Markov perfect Nash equilibria: numerical implications of a dynamic differentiated product model," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 58, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  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.
  11. Robert M. Hunt, 2004. "Patentability, Industry Structure, and Innovation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 401-425, 09.
  12. James Bessen & Eric Maskin, 2009. "Sequential innovation, patents, and imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(4), pages 611-635.
  13. Harris, Christopher & Vickers, John, 1985. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Model of a Race," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 193-209, April.
  14. Harris, Christopher & Vickers, John, 1987. "Racing with Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 1-21, January.
  15. Doraszelski, Ulrich, 2003. " An R&D Race with Knowledge Accumulation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 20-42, Spring.
  16. Fudenberg, Drew & Gilbert, Richard & Stiglitz, Joseph & Tirole, Jean, 1983. "Preemption, leapfrogging and competition in patent races," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-31, June.
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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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