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Innovation and diffusion of clean/green technology: Can patent commons help?

  • Hall, Bronwyn H.
  • Helmers, Christian

This paper explores the characteristics of 238 patents on 90 inventions contributed by major multinational innovators to the “Eco-Patent Commons”, which provides royalty-free access to third parties to patented innovations on green technologies. We compare the pledged patents to other patents in the same technologies or held by the same multinationals to investigate the motives of the contributing firms as well as the potential for such commons to encourage innovation and diffusion of climate change related technologies. We find pledged patents to protect environmentally friendly technologies and to be of similar value as the average patent in a pledging firm's patent portfolio but of lower value than other patents in their class. Our analysis of the impact of the patent commons on diffusion of patented technologies suggests that making patents accessible royalty-free did not result in any significant increase in diffusion as measured by citing patents. This study, therefore, indirectly provides evidence on the role of patents in the development and diffusion of green technologies.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0095069613000211
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 66 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 33-51

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:66:y:2013:i:1:p:33-51
DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2012.12.008
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

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  1. Hall, Bronwyn H & Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel, 2001. "The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," CEPR Discussion Papers 3094, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Sapsalis, Eleftherios & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno & Navon, Ran, 2006. "Academic versus industry patenting: An in-depth analysis of what determines patent value," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1631-1645, December.
  3. Adam Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1999. "International Knowledge Flows: Evidence From Patent Citations," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1-2), pages 105-136.
  4. Johnson, Daniel K N & Popp, David, 2003. " Forced Out of the Closet: The Impact of the American Inventors Protection Act on the Timing of Patent Disclosure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 96-112, Spring.
  5. Bronwyn Hall & Jacques Mairesse & Laure Turner, 2007. "Identifying Age, Cohort, And Period Effects In Scientific Research Productivity: Discussion And Illustration Using Simulated And Actual Data On French Physicists," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 159-177.
  6. Lei, Zhen & Juneja, Rakhi & Wright, Brian D, 2009. "Patents versus patenting: implications of intellectual property protection for biological research," MPRA Paper 34640, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Ghafele, Roya & D. O’Brien, Robert, 2012. "Open innovation for sustainability: Lessons from the GreenXchange experience," MPRA Paper 40440, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Lanjouw, Jean O & Pakes, Ariel & Putnam, Jonathan, 1998. "How to Count Patents and Value Intellectual Property: The Uses of Patent Renewal and Application Data," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 405-32, December.
  9. Layne-Farrar, Anne & Lerner, Josh, 2011. "To join or not to join: Examining patent pool participation and rent sharing rules," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 294-303, March.
  10. Hall, Bronwyn & Helmers, Christian, 2010. "The role of patent protection in (clean/green) technology transfer," MERIT Working Papers 046, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  11. Richard Jefferson, 2006. "Science as Social Enterprise: The CAMBIA BiOS Initiative," Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 13-44, October.
  12. Maria Pluvia Zuniga & Dominique Guellec, 2009. "Who Licenses out Patents and Why?: Lessons from a Business Survey," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2009/5, OECD Publishing.
  13. Mowery, David C., 2010. "Military R&D and Innovation," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
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  15. Christian Helmers & Bronwyn H. Hall, 2010. "The role of patent protection in (clean/green) technology transfer," Economics Series Working Papers CSAE WPS/2010-23, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  16. Ashish Arora & Alfonso Gambardella, 2010. "Ideas for rent: an overview of markets for technology," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 775-803, June.
  17. Catalina Martinez, 2010. "Insight into Different Types of Patent Families," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2010/2, OECD Publishing.
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