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Parallel Research, Multiple Intellectual Property Right Protection Instruments, and the Correlation among R&D Projects

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Abstract

The choice of a research path in attacking scientific and technological problems is a significant component of firms' R&D strategy. One of the findings of the patent races literature is that, in a competitive market setting, firms' noncooperative choices of research projects display an excessive degree of correlation, as compared to the socially optimal level. The paper revisits this question in a context in which firms have access to trade secrets, in addition to patents, to assert intellectual property rights (IPR) over their discoveries. We find that the availability of multiple IPR protection instruments can move the paths chosen by firms engaged in an R&D race toward the social optimum.

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File URL: http://www.card.iastate.edu/publications/DBS/PDFFiles/05wp404.pdf
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Paper provided by Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University in its series Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications with number 05-wp404.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ias:cpaper:05-wp404

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Keywords: intellectual property rights; parallel R&D; patent races.;

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