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(When) Do stronger patents increase continual innovation?

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  • Chen, Yongmin
  • Pan, Shiyuan
  • Zhang, Tianle

Abstract

Under continual innovation, greater patent strength expands innovating firms’ profit against imitation, but also shifts profit from current to past innovators. We show how the impact of patents on innovation, as determined by these two opposing effects, varies with industry characteristics. When the discount factor is sufficiently high, the negative profit division effect is negligible, and innovation monotonically increases in patent strength; otherwise, innovation has an inverted-U relationship with patent strength, and stronger patents are more likely to increase innovation when the discount factor or the fixed innovation cost is higher. We also show how the impact of patents on innovation may change with firms’ innovation capability and with the intensity of competition from imitators.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Yongmin & Pan, Shiyuan & Zhang, Tianle, 2014. "(When) Do stronger patents increase continual innovation?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 115-124.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:98:y:2014:i:c:p:115-124 DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2013.12.005
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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Yongmin & Pan, Shiyuan & Zhang, Tianle, 2016. "Patentability, R&D direction, and cumulative innovation," MPRA Paper 73180, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Marjit, Sugata & Yang, Lei, 2015. "Does intellectual property right promote innovations when pirates are innovators?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 203-207.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Continual innovation; Patents; Patent strength; Profit expansion; Profit division;

    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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