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Patent Scope, Antitrust Policy, and Cumulative Innovation

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  • Howard F. Chang

Abstract

In this article, I present a model of cumulative innovation to investigate what factors should influence a court's decision when a patentee alleges that another inventor has infringed the patent with an improved version of the patented product. The model reveals how the optimal patent would extend broad protection to those inventions that have very little value (standing alone) relative to the improvements that others may subsequently invent. I also examine whether courts should allow a patentee and competing inventors with improved versions of the patented product to enter collusive agreements. The model indicates that such a policy could create incentives for inefficient entry by imitators who "invent around" the original patent.

Suggested Citation

  • Howard F. Chang, 1995. "Patent Scope, Antitrust Policy, and Cumulative Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(1), pages 34-57, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:26:y:1995:i:spring:p:34-57
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