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Protecting Early Innovators: Should Second-Generation Products Be Patentable?

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  • Suzanne Scotchmer

Abstract

Incentives to develop basic technologies are greater if the patentholder profits from applications or other second-generation products. Assuming that such products infringe the basic patent and that there is not much delay between the innovations, I argue that (i) patents on second-generation products are not necessary to encourage their development and (ii) the patentholder of the basic technology collects a larger share of the profit if applications or other second generation products are not patentable.

Suggested Citation

  • Suzanne Scotchmer, 1996. "Protecting Early Innovators: Should Second-Generation Products Be Patentable?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 322-331, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:27:y:1996:i:summer:p:322-331
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    1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Katz, Avery, 1990. "The effect of frivolous lawsuits on the settlement of litigation," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 3-27, May.
    3. Gravelle, H. S. E., 1993. "The efficiency implications of cost-shifting rules," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 3-18, March.
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