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Is Silence Golden? Patents versus Secrecy at the Firm Level

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  • Hussinger, Katrin

Abstract

In the 1990s, patenting schemes changed in many respects: upcoming new technologies accelerated the shift from price competition towards competition based on technical inventions, a worldwide surge in patenting took place, and the ?patent thicket? arose as a consequence of strategic patenting. This study analyzes the importance of patenting versus secrecy as an effective alternative to protect intellectual property in the inventions? market phase. The sales figure with new products is introduced as a new measure for the importance of IP protection tools among product innovating firms. Focusing on the German manufacturing in 2000, it turns out that patents are important to protect intellectual property in the market, whereas secrecy seems to be rather important for early-stage inventions. --

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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 04-78.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:2883

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Keywords: Innovation; Appropriation; Patents; Secrecy;

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References

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  1. Tandon, Pankaj, 1982. "Optimal Patents with Compulsory Licensing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(3), pages 470-86, June.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Arundel, Anthony, 2001. "The relative effectiveness of patents and secrecy for appropriation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 611-624, April.
  5. Horstmann, Ignatius & MacDonald, Glenn M & Slivinski, Alan, 1985. "Patents as Information Transfer Mechanisms: To Patent or (Maybe) Not to Patent," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 837-58, October.
  6. 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.
  7. Langinier, Corinne & Moschini, GianCarlo, 2002. "Economics of Patents: An Overview, The," Staff General Research Papers 2061, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  8. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1981. "Productivity and R and D at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 0826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Petr Hanel, 2008. "The Use Of Intellectual Property Rights And Innovation By Manufacturing Firms In Canada," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(4), pages 285-309.
  10. Kortum, Samuel & Lerner, Josh, 1999. "What is behind the recent surge in patenting?1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-22, January.
  11. Dirk Czarnitzki, 2005. "The Extent and Evolution of Productivity Deficiency in Eastern Germany," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 211-231, October.
  12. David D. Friedman & William M. Landes & Richard A. Posner, 1991. "Some Economics of Trade Secret Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 61-72, Winter.
  13. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Catherine Beaudry, 2011. "Collaboration and contracting out versus funding and support – Impact on the propensity to patent of Canadian biotechnology firms 1999-2005," CIRANO Working Papers 2011s-62, CIRANO.
  2. Amara, Nabil & Landry, Réjean & Traoré, Namatié, 2008. "Managing the protection of innovations in knowledge-intensive business services," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1530-1547, October.
  3. Bronwyn H. Hall & Christian Helmers & Mark Rogers & Vania Sena, 2013. "The Importance (or not) of Patents to UK Firms," NBER Working Papers 19089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. n/a, 2000. "National Institute Economic Review: July 2000," NIESR Discussion Papers 410, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  5. Paul Belleflamme & Paul Bloch, 2013. "Dynamic Protection of Innovations through Patents and Trade Secrets," CESifo Working Paper Series 4486, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Gallié, Emilie-Pauline & Legros, Diégo, 2012. "French firms’ strategies for protecting their intellectual property," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 780-794.
  7. Blind, Knut & Cremers, Katrin & Mueller, Elisabeth, 2007. "The Influence of Strategic Patenting on Companies' Patent Portfolios," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-013, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. Antonelli, Cristiano & Teubal, Morris, 2008. "Venture Capital as a Mechanism for Knowledge Governance: New Markets and Innovation-Led Economic Growth," 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 200805, University of Turin.
  9. Delerue, Hélène & Lejeune, Albert, 2011. "Managerial secrecy and intellectual asset protection in SMEs: The role of institutional environment," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 130-142, June.
  10. AndreÃŒÂs LoÃŒÂpez & Eugenia Orlicki, 2009. "Who Uses the Patent System in Developing Countries? A Study of Patent Propensities in Argentina, 1992-2001," Microeconomics Working Papers 22785, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  11. Patrick Beschorner, 2008. "Optimal patent length and height," Empirica, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 233-240, July.
  12. Blind, Knut & Edler, Jakob & Frietsch, Rainer & Schmoch, Ulrich, 2006. "Motives to patent: Empirical evidence from Germany," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 655-672, June.

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