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Patent licensing revisited: Heterogeneous firms and product differentiation

  • Hernandez-Murillo, Ruben
  • Llobet, Gerard

In this paper we study the optimal licensing agreement between a patentholder of a cost-reducing innovation and firms that have heterogeneous uses for the new technology. We consider the case in which these firms are competitors in a downstream market. We extend the competition environment among the licensees beyond the Cournot/Bertrand models considered by the previous literature to a framework with differentiated products. We also assume that potential licensees have private information about the usefulness of the new technology. We characterize two purposes the optimal licensing contract serves to the patentholder: separation of the licensees and competition softening in the downstream market. We also describe how the optimal contract changes with the degree of product differentiation.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 24 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 149-175

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:24:y:2006:i:1:p:149-175
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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  1. Choi, Jay Pil, 1996. "Technology Transfer with Moral Hazard," Economics Series 22, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  2. Ana I. Saracho, 2002. "Patent Licensing Under Strategic Delegation," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 225-251, 06.
  3. Macho-Stadler, Ines & Perez-Castrillo, J. David, 2001. "An Introduction to the Economics of Information: Incentives and Contracts," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199243273, March.
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  5. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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  7. Fauli-Oller, Ramon & Sandonis, Joel, 2002. "Welfare reducing licensing," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 192-205, November.
  8. Nancy T. Gallini & Brian D. Wright, 1990. "Technology Transfer under Asymmetric Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 147-160, Spring.
  9. Llobet, Gerard, 2003. "Patent litigation when innovation is cumulative," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(8), pages 1135-1157, October.
  10. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 961-63, December.
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  12. Wang, X Henry & Yang, Bill Z, 1999. "On Licensing under Bertrand Competition," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(2), pages 106-19, June.
  13. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 1984. "Monopoly with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 171-196, Summer.
  14. Marie Thursby & Richard Jensen, 2001. "Proofs and Prototypes for Sale: The Licensing of University Inventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 240-259, March.
  15. Kamien, Morton I., 1992. "Patent licensing," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 331-354 Elsevier.
  16. Wang, X. Henry, 1998. "Fee versus royalty licensing in a Cournot duopoly model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 55-62, July.
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