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Optimal patentability requirements with complementary innovations

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  • Denicolò, Vincenzo
  • Halmenschlager, Christine

Abstract

We study optimal patent design, contrasting the case that two or more innovations are needed to operate a new technology with the traditional case that a single innovation is directly commercialisable. The major finding is that with complementary innovations the patentability requirements should be stronger than in the case of stand-alone innovation. This reduces the fragmentation of intellectual property, which is socially costly. However, to preserve the incentives to innovate, if a patent is granted the strength of protection should be generally higher than in the stand-alone case.

Suggested Citation

  • Denicolò, Vincenzo & Halmenschlager, Christine, 2012. "Optimal patentability requirements with complementary innovations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 190-204.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:56:y:2012:i:2:p:190-204
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2011.09.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carl Shapiro, 2001. "Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard Setting," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 1, pages 119-150 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ménière, Yann, 2008. "Patent law and complementary innovations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1125-1139, October.
    4. Suzanne Scotchmer & Jerry Green, 1990. "Novelty and Disclosure in Patent Law," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 131-146, Spring.
    5. Vincenzo Denicolò & Christine Halmenschlager, 2010. "Optimal Patentability Requirements with Fragmented Property Rights," Working Papers 2010.134, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    6. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Carl Shapiro, 2010. "Injunctions, Hold-Up, and Patent Royalties-super-1," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 509-557.
    8. James Bessen & Michael J. Meurer, 2008. "Introduction to Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk," Introductory Chapters,in: Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk Princeton University Press.
    9. Tom Lee & Louis L. Wilde, 1980. "Market Structure and Innovation: A Reformulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(2), pages 429-436.
    10. Gilbert, Richard J. & Katz, Michael L., 2011. "Efficient division of profits from complementary innovations," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 443-454, July.
    11. M.A. La Manna, Manfredi, 1992. "Optimal patent life vs optimal patentability standards," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 81-89, March.
    12. Glenn C. Loury, 1979. "Market Structure and Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(3), pages 395-410.
    13. Vincenzo Denicolo, 2007. "Do patents over-compensate innovators?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 679-729, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Annalisa Biagi & Vincenzo Denicolò, 2014. "Timing of Discovery and the Division of Profit With Complementary Innovations," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 89-102, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Patents; Complementary innovations; Patentability requirements; Fragmentation of intellectual property rights;

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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