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Optimal licensing of uncertain patents in the shadow of litigation

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  • Amir, Rabah
  • Encaoua, David
  • Lefouili, Yassine

Abstract

This paper investigates the choice of a licensing mechanism by the holder of a patent whose validity is uncertain. We provide sufficient conditions of a general nature under which the licensor prefers to use a per-unit royalty contract. In particular we show that this is the case for the holders of weak patents if the strategic effect of an increase in a potential licensee's unit cost on the equilibrium industry profit is positive. The latter condition is shown to hold in a Cournot (resp. Bertrand) oligopoly with homogeneous (resp. differentiated) products under general assumptions on the demands faced by firms. As a byproduct of our analysis, we contribute to the literature on the cost paradox in oligopoly by offering some new insights of independent interest regarding the effects of cost variations on Cournot and Bertrand equilibria.

Suggested Citation

  • Amir, Rabah & Encaoua, David & Lefouili, Yassine, 2014. "Optimal licensing of uncertain patents in the shadow of litigation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 320-338.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:88:y:2014:i:c:p:320-338
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2014.09.009
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    Cited by:

    1. Apurva Dey & Arun Kumar Kaushik & Rupayan Pal, 2017. "Probabilistic patents, alternative damage rules and optimal trade policy," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2017-004, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    2. Leonard F. S. Wang & Arijit Mukherjee & Chenhang Zeng, 2020. "Does technology licensing matter for privatization?," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 22(5), pages 1462-1480, September.
    3. Doh‐Shin Jeon & Yassine Lefouili, 2018. "Cross‐licensing and competition," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 49(3), pages 656-671, September.
    4. Doh‐Shin Jeon & Yassine Lefouili, 2018. "Cross‐licensing and competition," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 49(3), pages 656-671, September.
    5. Zhang, Huaige & Wang, Xuejun & Qing, Ping & Hong, Xianpei, 2016. "Optimal licensing of uncertain patents in a differentiated Stackelberg duopolistic competition market," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 215-229.
    6. Cuihong Fan & Byoung Heon Jun & Elmar G. Wolfstetter, 2018. "Optimal licensing under incomplete information: the case of the inside patent holder," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 66(4), pages 979-1005, December.
    7. Wang, Kuang-Cheng Andy & Wang, Yi-Jie & Liang, Wen-Jung & Tsai, Ming-Che & Mai, Chao-Cheng, 2016. "Patent licensing under financial structure with limited liability," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 121-135.
    8. Stefano Colombo & Luigi Filippini, 2016. "Revenue royalties," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 118(1), pages 47-76, May.
    9. Jacob Seifert, 2015. "Welfare effects of compulsory licensing," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 317-350, December.
    10. Badia, Bruno D. & Tumendemberel, Biligbaatar, 2016. "On the licensing of a technology with unknown use," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 220-233.
    11. Yue, Xian-Ping, 2017. "Behavior of inter-enterprises patent portfolio for different market structure," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 24-31.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Licensing mechanisms; Uncertain patents; Patent litigation; Cost comparative statics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D45 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Rationing; Licensing
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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