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The Patent Paradox Revisited: Determinants of Patenting in the US Semiconductor Industry, 1980-94

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  • Bronwyn H. Hall
  • Rose Marie Ham

Abstract

This paper examines the patenting behavior of firms in an industry characterized by rapid technological change and cumulative innovation. Recent evidence suggests that semiconductor firms do not rely heavily on patents, despite the strengthening of US patent rights in the early 1980s. Yet the propensity of semiconductor firms to patent has risen dramatically over the past decade. This paper explores this apparent paradox by analyzing the patenting activities of almost 100 US semiconductor firms during 1980-94. The results suggest that stronger patents may have facilitated entry by firms in niche product markets, while spawning patent portfolio races' among capital-intensive firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7062.

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Date of creation: Mar 1999
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Publication status: published as Hall, Bronwyn H & Ziedonis, Rosemarie Ham, 2001. "The Patent Paradox Revisited: An Empirical Study of Patenting in the U.S. Semiconductor Industry, 1979-1995," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 101-28, Spring.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7062

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  1. Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso, 1994. "The changing technology of technological change: general and abstract knowledge and the division of innovative labour," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 523-532, September.
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  14. Samuel Kortum & Josh Lerner, 1997. "Stronger Protection or Technological Revolution: What is Behind the Recent Surge in Patenting?," NBER Working Papers 6204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  20. Zvi Griliches & Bronwyn H. Hall & Ariel Pakes, 1988. "R&D, Patents, and Market Value Revisited: Is There Evidence of A SecondTechnological Opportunity Related Factor?," NBER Working Papers 2624, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  22. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Enrique Schroth & Dezsö Szalay, 2010. "Cash Breeds Success: The Role of Financing Constraints in Patent Races," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 14(1), pages 73-118.
  2. Paul A. David, 2005. "Can ‘Open Science’ be Protected from the Evolving Regime of IPR Protections?," Industrial Organization 0502010, EconWPA.
  3. Hirukawa, Masayuki & Ueda, Masako, 2008. "Venture Capital and Innovation: Which is First?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7090, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Macdonald, Stuart, 2004. "When means become ends: considering the impact of patent strategy on innovation," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 135-158, March.
  5. Mario Calderini & Andrea Giannaccari, 2006. "Standardisation in the ICT sector: The (complex) interface between antitrust and intellectual property," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(6), pages 543-567.

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