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Market outcomes and dynamic patent buyouts

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  • Galasso, Alberto
  • Mitchell, Matthew
  • Virag, Gabor

Abstract

Patents are a useful but imperfect reward for innovation. In sectors like pharmaceuticals, where monopoly distortions seem particularly severe, there is growing international political pressure to identify new reward mechanisms which complement the patent system and reduce prices. Innovation prizes and other non-patent rewards are becoming more prevalent in government’s innovation policy, and are also widely implemented by private philanthropists. In this paper we describe situations in which a patent buyout is effective, using information from market outcomes as a guide to the payment amount. We allow for the fact that sales may be manipulable by the innovator in search of the buyout payment, and show that in a wide variety of cases the optimal policy still involves some form of patent buyout. The buyout uses two key pieces of information: market outcomes observed during the patent’s life, and the competitive outcome after the patent is bought out. We show that such dynamic market information can be effective at determining both marginal and total willingness to pay of consumers in many important cases, and therefore can generate the right innovation incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Galasso, Alberto & Mitchell, Matthew & Virag, Gabor, 2016. "Market outcomes and dynamic patent buyouts," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 207-243.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:48:y:2016:i:c:p:207-243
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijindorg.2016.06.007
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    Cited by:

    1. Ganglmair, Bernhard & Simcoe, Timothy & Tarantino, Emanuele, 2018. "Learning When to Quit: An Empirical Model of Experimentation," CEPR Discussion Papers 12733, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Schankerman, Mark & Schuett, Florian, 2020. "Patent Screening, Innovation, and Welfare," Discussion Paper 2020-024, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    3. Galasso, Alberto, 2020. "Rewards versus intellectual property rights when commitment is limited," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 397-411.
    4. Galasso, Alberto & Mitchell, Matthew & Virag, Gabor, 2018. "A theory of grand innovation prizes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 343-362.
    5. Schankerman, Mark & Schuett, Florian, 2020. "Patent Screening, Innovation, and Welfare," Other publications TiSEM 71ffc853-44e7-4117-ac82-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Schankerman, Mark & Schuett, Florian, 2020. "Patent Screening, Innovation, and Welfare," Other publications TiSEM 9e661f68-5210-4ca7-8b2f-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation incentives; Patents; Buyouts; Market information;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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