Patent Thickets: Strategic Patenting of Complex Technologies
AbstractPatent race models assume that an innovator wins the only patent covering a product. But when technologies are complex, this property right is defective: ownership of a product’s technology is shared, not exclusive. In that case I show that if patent standards are low, firms build “thickets” of patents, especially incumbent firms in mature industries. When they assert these patents, innovators are forced to share rents under cross-licenses, making R&D incentives sub-optimal. On the other hand, when lead time advantages are significant and patent standards are high, firms pursue strategies of “mutual non-aggression.” Then R&D incentives are stronger, even optimal.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Research on Innovation in its series Working Papers with number 0401.
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.researchoninnovation.org
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2003.
"Efficient Patent Pools,"
IDEI Working Papers
211, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- James Bessen & Robert M Hunt, 2004.
"An Empirical Look at Software Patents,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
122247000000000167, David K. Levine.
- Wesley M Cohen & Richard R Nelson & John P Walsh, 2003.
"Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (Or Not),"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
618897000000000624, David K. Levine.
- Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2000. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not)," NBER Working Papers 7552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bessen, James, 2004. "Holdup and licensing of cumulative innovations with private information," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 321-326, March.
- Sebastian von Engelhardt & Sushmita Swaminathan, 2008. "Open Source Software, Closed Source Software or Both: Impacts on Industry Growth and the Role of Intellectual Property Rights," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 799, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2006.
"Claiming more: the increased voluminosity of patent applications and its determinants,"
Working Papers CEB
06-018.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- van Zeebroeck, Nicolas & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno & Guellec, Dominique, 2009. "Claiming more: the Increased Voluminosity of Patent Applications and its Determinants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1006-1020, July.
- Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2009. "Claiming more: the increased voluminosity of patent applications and its determinants," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/60726, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Guellec, Dominique & van Pottelsberghe, Bruno & van Zeebroeck, Nicolas, 2006. "Claiming More: The Increased Voluminosity of Patent Applications and its Determinants," CEPR Discussion Papers 5971, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Robert M. Hunt, 2006.
"When Do More Patents Reduce R&D?,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 87-91, May.
- Yann Ménière & Sarah Parlane, 2004. "A Dynamic Model of Cross Licensing," Working Papers 200424, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
- Yann Ménière & Sarah Parlane, 2008.
"Innovation in the Shadow of Patent Litigation,"
Review of Industrial Organization,
Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 95-111, March.
- Jeroen de Jong & Eric von Hippel, 2010. "Open, distributed and user-centered: Towards a paradigm shift in innovation policy," Scales Research Reports H201009, EIM Business and Policy Research.
- Elisabetta Ottoz & Franco Cugno, 2008.
"Patent--Secret Mix in Complex Product Firms,"
American Law and Economics Review,
Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 142-158.
- Ottoz Elisabetta & Cugno Franco, 2007. "Patent-Secret Mix in Complex Product Firms," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 200707, University of Turin.
- Georg Graevenitz & Stefan Wagner & Dietmar Harhoff, 2013.
"Incidence and Growth of Patent Thickets: The Impact of Technological Opportunities and Complexity,"
Journal of Industrial Economics,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 521-563, 09.
- Harhoff, Dietmar & von Graevenitz, Georg & Wagner, Stefan, 2008. "Incidence and Growth of Patent Thickets - The Impact of Technological Opportunities and Complexity," CEPR Discussion Papers 6900, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Graevenitz, Georg von & Wagner, Stefan & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2011. "Incidence and Growth of Patent Thickets - The Impact of Technological Opportunities and Complexity," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 356, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
- Miller, David A., 2008.
"Invention under uncertainty and the threat of ex post entry,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 387-412, April.
- David A. Miller, 2005. "Invention under uncertainty and the threat of ex post entry," Industrial Organization 0510001, EconWPA.
- Robert Hunt & James Bessen, 2004. "The software patent experiment," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q3, pages 22-32.
- Antonelli, Cristiano, 2003. "The Governance of Technological Knowledge: Strategies, Processes and Public Policies," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200306, University of Turin.
- Alexandre Almeida & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2007. "Does Patenting negatively impact on R&D investment?An international panel data assessment," FEP Working Papers 255, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jim Bessen).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.