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Patent Buyouts: A Mechanism for Encouraging Innovation

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  • Kremer, Michael R.
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    Abstract

    In 1839 the French government purchased the Daguerreotype patent and placed it in the public domain. Such patent buyouts could potentially eliminate the monopoly price distortions and incentives for rent-stealing duplicative research created by patents, while increasing incentives for original research. Governments could offer to purchase patents at their estimated private value, as determined in an auction, times a markup equal to the typical ratio of inventions' social and private value. Most patents purchased would be placed in the public domain, but to induce bidders to reveal their valuations, a few would be sold to the highest bidder.

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    File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/3693705/Kremer_PatentBuyouts.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3693705.

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    Date of creation: 1998
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    Publication status: Published in Quarterly Journal of Economics -Cambridge Massachusetts-
    Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3693705

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    1. Henderson, Rebecca. & Cockburn, Iain., 1993. "Racing or spilling? : the determinants of research productivity in ethical drug discovery," Working papers 3642-93., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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    4. Jeffrey I. Bernstein & M. Ishaq Nadiri, 1991. "Product Demand, Cost of Production, Spillovers, and the Social Rate of Return to R&D," NBER Working Papers 3625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Cockburn, Iain & Henderson, Rebecca, 1994. "Racing to Invest? The Dynamics of Competition in Ethical Drug Discovery," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 481-519, Fall.
    6. Ugo Pagano & Maria Alessandra Rossi, 2009. "The crash of the knowledge economy," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(4), pages 665-683, July.
    7. Mark Johnston & Richard Zeckhauser, 1991. "The Australian Pharmaceutical Subsidy Gambit: Transmuting Deadweight Loss and Oligopoly Rents to Consumer Surplus," NBER Working Papers 3783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Taylor, Curtis R, 1995. "Digging for Golden Carrots: An Analysis of Research Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 872-90, September.
    9. Bernstein, Jeffrey I. & Nadiri, M. Ishaq, 1988. "Interindustry R&D, Rates of Return and Production in High-Tech Industries," Working Papers 88-04, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    10. M. Ishaq Nadiri, 1993. "Innovations and Technological Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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