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Control Rights over Intellectual Property: Corporate Venturing and Bankruptcy Regimes

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  • Sergei Guriev
  • Sudipto Bhattacharya

Abstract

We develop a theory of control rights in the context of licencing interim innovative knowledge for further development, which is consistent with the inalienability of initial innovator's intellectual property rights. Control rights of a downstream development unit, a buyer of the interin innovation, arise from its ability to prevent the upstream research unit from forming financial coalitions at the ex interim stage of bargaining, over the amount and structure of licencing fees as well as the mode of licensing, based either in trade secrets or on patents. We model explicitly the equilibrium choice of the temporal structure of licensing fees, and show that the innovator's ex interim financial constraint is more likely to bind when then value of her innovation is low. By constraining the financial flexibility of the upstream unit vis-a-vis her choice over the mode of licensing of her interim knowledge, the controlling development unit is able to reduce the research unit's payoff selectively in such contingencies. This serves to incentivise the research unit to expend more effort ex ante, to generate more promising interim innovations. We further show that such interim-inefficient control rights can nevertheless be renegotiation-proof.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Financial Markets Group in its series FMG Discussion Papers with number dp618.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fmg:fmgdps:dp618

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Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/fmg/

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  1. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 2004. "AGREEING NOW TO AGREE LATER: Contracts that Rule Out but do not Rule In," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series /2004/472, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  2. Bharat N. Anand & Alexander Galetovic, 2000. "Weak Property Rights and Holdup in R&D," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 615-642, December.
  3. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 473-94, July.
  4. Sudipto Bhattacharya & Sergei Guriev, 2004. "Patents vs Trade Secrets: Knowledge Licensing and Spillover," Working Papers w0064, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR), revised Feb 2006.
  5. Hart, O. & Moore, J., 1991. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," Working papers 592, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Paul A. Gompers & Josh Lerner, 1998. "The Determinants of Corporate Venture Capital Successes: Organizational Structure, Incentives, and Complementarities," NBER Working Papers 6725, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Sudipto Bhattacharya & Sergei Guriev, 2004. "Knowledge Disclosure, Patents and Optimal Organization of Research and Development," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series /2004/478, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  8. Bharant N. Anand & Alexander Galetovic, 1998. "Weak Property Rights and hold-up in R&D," Documentos de Trabajo 39, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  9. Acharya, Viral V & Subramanian, Krishnamurthy, 2007. "Bankruptcy Codes and Innovation," CEPR Discussion Papers 6307, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Pisano, Gary P, 1989. "Using Equity Participation to Support Exchange: Evidence from the Biotechnology Industry," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 109-26, Spring.
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