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An Empirical Examination Of Patent Holdup

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  • Alexander Galetovic
  • Stephen Haber
  • Ross Levine

Abstract

A large theoretical literature asserts that standard-essential patents (SEPs) allow their owners to “hold up” innovation by charging fees that exceed their incremental contribution to a final product. We evaluate two central, interrelated predictions of this SEP holdup hypothesis: (1) SEP-reliant industries should experience more stagnant quality-adjusted prices than non-SEP-reliant industries; and (2) court decisions that reduce the excessive power of SEP holders should accelerate innovation in SEP-reliant industries. We find no empirical support for either prediction. Indeed, SEP-reliant industries have the fastest quality-adjusted price declines in the U.S. economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Galetovic & Stephen Haber & Ross Levine, 2015. "An Empirical Examination Of Patent Holdup," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(3), pages 549-578.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jcomle:v:11:y:2015:i:3:p:549-578.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/joclec/nhv024
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-261, October.
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    3. David Genesove & Wallace P. Mullin, 1998. "Testing Static Oligopoly Models: Conduct and Cost in the Sugar Industry, 1890-1914," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(2), pages 355-377, Summer.
    4. Oliver E. Williamson, 1967. "Hierarchical Control and Optimum Firm Size," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 123-123.
    5. Nordhaus William D, 2008. "Baumol's Diseases: A Macroeconomic Perspective," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-39, February.
    6. Oulton,Nicholas & O'Mahony,Mary, 1994. "Productivity and Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521453455, Enero.
    7. Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1989. "Empirical studies of industries with market power," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 1011-1057 Elsevier.
    8. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
    9. Bernhard Ganglmair & Luke M. Froeb & Gregory J. Werden, 2012. "Patent Hold-Up and Antitrust: How A Well-Intentioned Rule Could Retard Innovation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 249-273, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Justus Baron & Jorge Contreras & Martin Husovec & Pierre Larouche, 2019. "Making the Rules: The Governance of Standard Development Organizations and their Policies on Intellectual Property Rights," JRC Working Papers JRC115004, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    2. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:8:p:1367-1387 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • 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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