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Patent thickets, licensing and innovative performance

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  • Cockburn, Iain M.
  • MacGarvie, Megan J.
  • Müller, Elisabeth

Abstract

We examine the relationship between fragmented intellectual property (IP) rights and the innovative performance of firms, taking into consideration the role played by in-licensing of IP. We find that firms facing more fragmented IP landscapes have a higher probability of in-licensing. For firms with small patent portfolios we also find a positive association between fragmentation and licensing costs as a share of sales. We observe a negative relationship between IP fragmentation and innovative performance, but only for firms that engage in in-licensing. In contrast, greater IP fragmentation is associated with higher innovative performance for firms that do not in-license. Furthermore, the effects of fragmentation on innovation also appear to depend on the size of a firm’s patent portfolio. These results suggest that the effects of fragmentation of upstream IP rights are not uniform, and instead vary according to the characteristics of the downstream firm. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 08-101 [rev.].

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:08101r

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Keywords: patent thickets; licensing; innovative performance;

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References

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  1. James Bessen & Robert M. Hunt, 2007. "An Empirical Look at Software Patents," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 157-189, 03.
  2. Bruno Cassiman & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2000. "External technology sources: Embodied or disembodied technology acquisition," Economics Working Papers 444, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. James Bessen & Eric Maskin, 2009. "Sequential innovation, patents, and imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(4), pages 611-635.
  4. Iain M. Cockburn & Megan MacGarvie, 2007. "Patents, Thickets, and the Financing of Early-Stage Firms: Evidence from the Software Industry," NBER Working Papers 13644, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. A. Jorge Padilla & Damien Geradin & Anne Layne-Farrar, 2007. "Royalty Stacking In High Tech Industries: Separating Myth From Reality," Working Papers wp2007_0701, CEMFI.
  6. Adam B. Jaffe & Josh Lerner & Scott Stern, 2001. "Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 1," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number jaff01-1, octubre-d.
  7. Shapiro, Carl, 2000. "Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard-Setting," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt4hs5s9wk, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. Ashish Arora & Andrea Fosfuri & Alfonso Gambardella, 2004. "Markets for Technology: The Economics of Innovation and Corporate Strategy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262511819, December.
  9. Alberto Galasso & Mark Schankerman, 2008. "Patent Thickets and the Market for Innovation: Evidence from Settlement of Patent Disputes," CEP Discussion Papers dp0889, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Bessen, James, 2004. "Holdup and licensing of cumulative innovations with private information," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 321-326, March.
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  13. Mueller, Elisabeth & Harhoff, Dietmar & Haeussler, Carolin, 2009. "To Be Financed or Not : The Role of Patents for Venture Capital Financing," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-003, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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  15. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
  16. Link, Albert N. & Scott, John T., 2003. "U.S. science parks: the diffusion of an innovation and its effects on the academic missions of universities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(9), pages 1323-1356, November.
  17. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2004. "Exploring the Patent Explosion," NBER Working Papers 10605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  19. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Kraft, Kornelius, 2005. "License Expenditures of Incumbents and Potential Entrants: An Empirical Analysis of Firm Behavior," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-35, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Schwiebacher, Franz, 2012. "Complementary assets, patent thickets and hold-up threats: Do transaction costs undermine investments in innovation?," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-015, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Dr Chiara Rosazza Bondibene, 2012. "A Study of Patent Thickets," NIESR Discussion Papers 11129, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  3. NAGAOKA Sadao & NISHIMURA Yoichiro, 2014. "Complementarity, Fragmentation, and the Effects of Patent Thickets," Discussion papers 14001, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  4. Schwiebacher, Franz, 2013. "Does fragmented or heterogeneous IP ownership stifle investments in innovation?," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-096, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  5. Gambardella, Alfonso & Giarratana, Marco S., 2013. "General technological capabilities, product market fragmentation, and markets for technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 315-325.
  6. Dan Andrews & Chiara Criscuolo, 2013. "Knowledge-Based Capital, Innovation and Resource Allocation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1046, OECD Publishing.
  7. Grimpe, Christoph & Hussinger, Katrin, 2014. "Pre-empted patents, infringed patents and firms’ participation in markets for technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 543-554.
  8. Fischer, Timo & Henkel, Joachim, 2012. "Patent trolls on markets for technology – An empirical analysis of NPEs’ patent acquisitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1519-1533.

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