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Complementary assets, patent thickets and hold-up threats: Do transaction costs undermine investments in innovation?

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  • Schwiebacher, Franz
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    Abstract

    Innovation is commercialization of technology. Imperfections in markets for technology should leave marks on physical investments for innovation. Two types of transaction costs could affect innovative investments: royality stacking and hold-up threats. Backward references in firm's patent portfolio indicate potential technology suppliers. I find a negative effect of ownership fragmentation on investments related to innovation for firms with small patent portfolios. Hold-up threats are credible when upstream patentees have less specific capital sunk than innovating firms. Differences in fixed capital stocks between downstream firms and upstream patentees negatively affect investments in innovation for firms with large patent portfolios. These effects are specific to investments in innovation. There are no comparable effects on investments in R&D or residual physical investments. The effects of patent thickets on innovation are thus not uniform. They depend on the characteristics of the downstream firm. --

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    Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 12-015.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:12015

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    Keywords: Market for Technology; Complementary Assets; Transaction Costs; Patent Thickets;

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    1. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Didier François, 2009. "The cost factor in patent systems," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13422, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Alfonso Gambardella & Paola Giuri & Alessandra Luzzi, 2006. "The Market for Patents in Europe," LEM Papers Series 2006/04, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
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    5. Müller, Elisabeth & MacGarvie, Megan J. & Cockburn, Iain M., 2008. "Patent Thickets, Licensing and Innovative Performance," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-101, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Reitzig, Markus & Henkel, Joachim & Heath, Christopher, 2007. "On sharks, trolls, and their patent prey--Unrealistic damage awards and firms' strategies of "being infringed"," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 134-154, February.
    7. Lucy Chennells & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Establishment Level Earnings, Technology And The Growth Of Inequality: Evidence From Britain," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2-4), pages 139-164.
    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. Almus, Matthias & Engel, Dirk & Prantl, Susanne, 2000. "The Mannheim Foundation Panels of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW)," ZEW Dokumentationen 00-02, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    10. Colin Webb & Hélène Dernis & Dietmar Harhoff & Karin Hoisl, 2005. "Analysing European and International Patent Citations: A Set of EPO Patent Database Building Blocks," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2005/9, OECD Publishing.
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