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Patent thickets, licensing and innovative performance

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  • Iain M. Cockburn
  • Megan J. MacGarvie
  • Elisabeth Müller

Abstract

We examine the relationship between fragmented intellectual property (IP) rights and the innovative performance of firms, taking into consideration the role played by in-licensing of IP. We find that firms facing more fragmented IP landscapes have a higher probability of in-licensing. We observe a negative relationship between IP fragmentation and innovative performance, but only for firms that engage in in-licensing. In contrast, greater IP fragmentation is associated with higher innovative performance for firms that do not in-license. Furthermore, the effects of fragmentation on innovation also appear to depend on the size of a firm's patent portfolio. These results suggest that the effects of fragmentation of upstream IP rights are not uniform, and instead vary according to the characteristics of the downstream firm. Copyright 2010 The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Associazione ICC. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

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  • Iain M. Cockburn & Megan J. MacGarvie & Elisabeth Müller, 2010. "Patent thickets, licensing and innovative performance," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 899-925, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:19:y:2010:i:3:p:899-925
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Isabella Leone & Raffaele Oriani & Toke Reichstein, 2015. "How much are flexibility and uncertainty worth in patent licensing?," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 42(4), pages 371-394, December.
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    4. Henrik Braconier & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Ben Westmore, 2015. "Policy challenges for the next 50 years," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2015(1), pages 9-66.
    5. NAGAOKA Sadao & NISHIMURA Yoichiro, 2014. "Complementarity, Fragmentation, and the Effects of Patent Thickets," Discussion papers 14001, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    6. Grimpe, Christoph & Hussinger, Katrin, 2014. "Pre-empted patents, infringed patents and firms’ participation in markets for technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 543-554.
    7. Bettina Peters & Christian Rammer, 2013. "Innovation panel surveys in Germany," Chapters,in: Handbook of Innovation Indicators and Measurement, chapter 6, pages 135-177 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Munari, Federico & Toschi, Laura, 2014. "Running ahead in the nanotechnology gold rush. Strategic patenting in emerging technologies," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 194-207.
    9. Gerard J. Berg & Pia R. Pinger & Johannes Schoch, 2016. "Instrumental Variable Estimation of the Causal Effect of Hunger Early in Life on Health Later in Life," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(591), pages 465-506, March.
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    11. Chang, Shu-Hao & Fan, Chin-Yuan, 2016. "Identification of the technology life cycle of telematics: A patent-based analytical perspective," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 1-10.
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    13. Stefano Comino & Fabio M. Manenti & NIkolaus Thumm, 2017. "The Role of Patents in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). A survey of the Literature," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0212, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
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    21. Fischer, Timo & Henkel, Joachim, 2012. "Patent trolls on markets for technology – An empirical analysis of NPEs’ patent acquisitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 1519-1533.
    22. Helmut Fryges & Bettina Müller & Michaela Niefert, 2014. "Job machine, think tank, or both: what makes corporate spin-offs different?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 369-391, August.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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