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Adverse Effects of Patent Pooling on Product Development and Commercialization

Author

Listed:
  • Jeitschko Thomas D.

    () (Department of Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA)

  • Zhang Nanyun

    () (Independent Project Analysis, Inc., Ashburn, VA 20147, USA)

Abstract

The conventional wisdom is that the formation of patent pools is welfare enhancing when patents are complementary, since the pool avoids a double-marginalization problem associated with independent licensing. This conventional wisdom relies on the effects that pooling has on downstream prices. However, it does not account for the potentially significant role of the effect of pooling on downstream product development and commercialization. We consider development technologies that entail spillovers between rivals and assume that final-demand products are imperfect substitutes. When pool formation facilitates information sharing and spillovers in development, then decreases in the degree of product differentiation can adversely affect welfare by reducing the incentives towards product development and product market competition – even with perfectly complementary patents. The analysis modifies and even negates the conventional wisdom for some settings and suggests why patent pools are uncommon in science-based industries such as biotech and pharmaceuticals that are characterized by tacit knowledge and incomplete patents.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeitschko Thomas D. & Zhang Nanyun, 2014. "Adverse Effects of Patent Pooling on Product Development and Commercialization," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 14(1), pages 1-31, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejtec:v:14:y:2014:i:1:p:31:n:4
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    Cited by:

    1. Justus Baron & Henry Delcamp, 2015. "The strategies of patent introduction into patent pools," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(8), pages 776-800, November.
    2. Nancy Gallini, 2017. "Do patents work? Thickets, trolls and antibiotic resistance," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(4), pages 893-926, November.
    3. Ryan L. Lampe & Petra Moser, 2012. "Do Patent Pools Encourage Innovation? Evidence from 20 U.S. Industries under the New Deal," NBER Working Papers 18316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Ishihara, Akifumi & Yanagawa, Noriyuki, 2018. "Dark sides of patent pools with independent licensing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 1-34.
    5. Thomas D. Jeitschko & Yeonjei Jung & Jaesoo Kim, 2017. "Bundling and joint marketing by rival firms," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(3), pages 571-589, September.
    6. Delcamp, Henry, 2015. "Are patent pools a way to help patent owners enforce their rights?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 68-76.
    7. Dequiedt, Vianney & Versaevel, Bruno, 2013. "Patent pools and dynamic R&D incentives," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 59-69.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies
    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing

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