IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/jemstr/v13y2004i3p517-538.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Patents, Secrets, and the First‐Inventor Defense

Author

Listed:
  • Vincenzo Denicolò
  • Luigi Alberto Franzoni

Abstract

We analyze optimal patent design when innovators can rely on secrecy to protect their innovations. Secrecy has no fixed term but does not preclude accidental disclosure nor independent creation by other inventors. We derive the optimal scope of the rights conferred to such second inventors, showing that if the patent life is set optimally, second inventors should be allowed to patent and to exclude first inventors who have relied on secrecy. We then identify conditions under which it is socially desirable to increase patent life as much as is necessary to induce first inventors to patent. The circumstances in which it is preferable that they rely on secrecy seem rather limited.

Suggested Citation

  • Vincenzo Denicolò & Luigi Alberto Franzoni, 2004. "Patents, Secrets, and the First‐Inventor Defense," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 517-538, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:13:y:2004:i:3:p:517-538
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1430-9134.2004.00021.x
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1430-9134.2004.00021.x
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tuomas Takalo, 1998. "Innovation and imitation under imperfect patent protection," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 67(3), pages 229-241, October.
    2. Mansfield, Edwin, 1985. "How Rapidly Does New Industrial Technology Leak Out?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 217-223, December.
    3. James J. Anton & Dennis A. Yao, 2004. "Little Patents and Big Secrets: Managing Intellectual Property," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(1), pages 1-22, Spring.
    4. Sudipto Bhattacharya & Jay R. Ritter, 1983. "Innovation and Communication: Signalling with Partial Disclosure," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(2), pages 331-346.
    5. Choi, Jay Pil, 1998. "Patent Litigation as an Information-Transmission Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1249-1263, December.
    6. Ponce, Carlos J., 2007. "Knowledge disclosure as intellectual property rights," UC3M Working papers. Economics we077140, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    7. 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 837-858, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Arnaud Bourgain & Luisito Bertinelli & Florian Leon, 2018. "Corruption and tax compliance: Evidence from small retailers in Bamako, Mali," DEM Discussion Paper Series 18-18, Department of Economics at the University of Luxembourg.
    2. Paul Belleflamme & Paul Bloch, 2013. "Dynamic Protection of Innovations through Patents and Trade Secrets," CESifo Working Paper Series 4486, CESifo.
    3. Zhang, Tianle, 2012. "Patenting in the shadow of independent discoveries by rivals," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 41-49.
    4. Glaeser, Stephen, 2018. "The effects of proprietary information on corporate disclosure and transparency: Evidence from trade secrets," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 163-193.
    5. Aoki, Reiko & Spiegel, Yossi, 2009. "Pre-grant patent publication and cumulative innovation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 333-345, May.
    6. Hussinger, Katrin & Pacher, Sebastian, 2019. "Information ambiguity, patents and the market value of innovative assets," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 665-675.
    7. Crass, Dirk & Garcia Valero, Francisco & Pitton, Francesco & Rammer, Christian, 2016. "Protecting innovation through patents and trade secrets: Determinants and performance impacts for firms with a single innovation," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-061, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    8. Henry, Emeric & Ruiz-Aliseda, Francisco, 2012. "Innovation Beyond Patents: Technological Complexity as a Protection against Imitation," CEPR Discussion Papers 8870, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. David Encaoua & Yassine Lefouili, 2010. "Choosing Intellectual Protection: Imitation, Patent Strength and Licensing," NBER Chapters, in: Contributions in Memory of Zvi Griliches, pages 241-271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Sudipto Bhattacharya & Sergei Guriev, 2006. "Patents vs. Trade Secrets: Knowledge Licensing and Spillover," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(6), pages 1112-1147, December.
    11. Mukherjee, Arijit & Stern, Scott, 2009. "Disclosure or secrecy? The dynamics of Open Science," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 449-462, May.
    12. Aoki, R. & Spiegel, Y., 1998. "Public Disclosure of Patent Applications, R&D, and Welfare," Papers 30-98, Tel Aviv.
    13. Ponce, Carlos J., 2007. "More secrecy... more knowledge disclosure? : On disclosure outside of patents," UC3M Working papers. Economics we077241, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    14. Ajay Bhaskarabhatla & Enrico Pennings, 2012. "Defensive Disclosure under Antitrust Enforcement," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-010/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    15. Katrin Hussinger, 2006. "Is Silence Golden? Patents Versus Secrecy At The Firm Level," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(8), pages 735-752.
    16. de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & Jaffe, Adam B., 2018. "Econometric evidence on the depreciation of innovations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 625-642.
    17. Tapan Biswas & Jolian McHardy, 2012. "Secrecy Versus Patents: Process Innovations and the Role of Uncertainty," Working Paper series 18_12, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    18. David Encaoua & Yassine Lefouili, 2010. "Choosing Intellectual Protection: Imitation, Patent Strength and Licensing," NBER Chapters, in: Contributions in Memory of Zvi Griliches, pages 241-271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Chih‐Hai Yang, 2008. "Effects Of Strengthening Intellectual Property Rights In Newly Industrialized Economies: Evidence From Taiwan’S 1994 Patent Reform," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(2), pages 259-275, April.
    20. Petra Moser, 2012. "Innovation without Patents: Evidence from World's Fairs," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(1), pages 43-74.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:13:y:2004:i:3:p:517-538. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/journals/JEMS/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/journals/JEMS/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.