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The role of intellectual property rights in information and communication technologies

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  • C. Niranjan Rao

    ()
    (Centre for Economic and Social Studies
    Institute of Economic Growth)

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    Abstract

    The paper starts by recapitulating the basic arguments provided by economic theory to explain the existence of the patent system. The paper then concentrates on the three important ICT industries viz., telecommunication equipment, computer hardware and semiconductor industries. The issues covered in the discussion on these industries are the technological characteristics; market structure and technology transfer experiences of selected developing countries. Even though there are some differences in these industries, what come out clearly are some similarities. These similarities pertain to concentration by firm as well as country; rapid technological changes; existence of scale economies; rising minimum efficient levels of production; entry barriers to the industries both financial and technological etc. Bresnahan, Stern and Trajtenbert [1997] show that in the computer PC market brand name and being on technological frontier help the firm in appropriating inventions. Taylor and Silberston [1973] observe that in electronics while patents by themselves are not important method of appropriation, it encourages firms to accumulate patents so that they can have an advantage in cross-licensing agreements. This finding was reiterated by Hall and Ham [1999] for semiconductor industry. They name this phenomenon "patent portfolio race". The paper briefly touches upon the issues pertaining to Internet and the problems it raises for copyright; protection of computer software and the discussion on a sui generis protection for databases. The paper concludes that the role of IPRs in ICT seems to be marginal and as prices are falling it does not seem to be attracting negative attention.

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    File URL: http://www.cess.ac.in/cesshome/wp/wp-61.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad, India in its series Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad Working Papers with number 61.

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    Length: 22 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ind:cesswp:61

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    Related research

    Keywords: Intellectual property rights; patents; information and communication technologies;

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    References

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    1. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Douglas A. Irwin, 1996. "Trade Policies and the Semiconductor Industry," NBER Chapters, in: The Political Economy of American Trade Policy, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Flaherty, M Therese, 1984. "Field Research on the Link between Technological Innovation and Growth: Evidence from the International Semiconductor Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 67-72, May.
    4. Lera, Emilio, 2000. "Changing relations between manufacturing and service provision in a more competitive telecom environment," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 413-437, June.
    5. Rao, P. M., 1999. "Convergence and unbundling of corporate R&D in telecommunications: is software taking the helm?," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 83-93, February.
    6. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1988. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial R&D," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 862, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    7. Hicks, Donald A & O'Brien, Daniel M, 1997. "Can the telecom equipment industry afford accelerating technical advance?," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(8), pages 697-707, October.
    8. Megna, Pamela & Klock, Mark, 1993. "The Impact on Intangible Capital on Tobin's q in the Semiconductor Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 265-69, May.
    9. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
    10. Chen, Cheng-Fen & Sewell, Graham, 1996. "Strategies for technological development in South Korea and Taiwan: the case of semiconductors," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 759-783, August.
    11. Mani, Sunil, 2003. "Deregulation, Entry of MNCs, Public Technology Procurement and Innovation Capability in India's Telecommunications Equipment Industry," UNU-INTECH Discussion Paper Series 1, United Nations University - INTECH.
    12. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Greenstein, Shane, 1999. "Technological Competition and the Structure of the Computer Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 1-40, March.
    13. Douglas A. Irwin, 1994. "Trade Politics and the Semi-conductor Industry," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 92, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    14. Hobday, Michael, 1991. "Semiconductor technology and the newly industrializing countries: The diffusion of ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits)," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 375-397, April.
    15. Schmoch, Ulrich & Schnöring, Thomas, 1994. "Technological strategies of telecommunications equipment manufacturers : A patent analysis," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 397-413, July.
    16. Neu, Werner & Schnöring, Thomas, 1989. "The telecommunications equipment industry: Recent changes in its international trade pattern," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 25-39, March.
    17. Dick, Andrew R, 1991. "Learning by Doing and Dumping in the Semiconductor Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 133-59, April.
    18. Neu, Werner & Neumann, Karl-Heinz & Schnöring, Thomas, 1987. "Trade patterns, industry structure and industrial policy in telecommunications," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 31-44, March.
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