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Patent Policy and the Direction of Technological Change

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  • Mukesh Eswaran
  • Nancy Gallini

Abstract

In this article we examine the interaction between firms' product and process innovation decisions, and the role patent policy can play in directing technological change toward a socially efficient mix of innovations. Product innovation is a variant on a pioneer's new product; process innovation improves upon the cost efficiency of production. In a model with heterogeneous consumers, we show that an entrant relaxes competition by trading off too much process innovation in favor of product innovation, relative to what the social planner would desire. This bias toward product innovation can be corrected through appropriate choice of patent breadths on product and process innovations.

Suggested Citation

  • Mukesh Eswaran & Nancy Gallini, 1996. "Patent Policy and the Direction of Technological Change," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(4), pages 722-746, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:27:y:1996:i:winter:p:722-746
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rosenkranz, Stephanie, 2003. "Simultaneous choice of process and product innovation when consumers have a preference for product variety," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 183-201, February.
    2. Cefis, Elena & Rosenkranz, Stephanie & Weitzel, Utz, 2005. "Effects of Acquisitions on Product and Process Innovation and R&D Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 5275, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. David Soberman & Hubert Gatignon, 2005. "Research Issues at the Boundary of Competitive Dynamics and Market Evolution," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(1), pages 165-174, September.
    4. Nancy Gallini, 2011. "Private agreements for coordinating patent rights: the case of patent pools," ECONOMIA E POLITICA INDUSTRIALE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2011(3), pages 5-30.
    5. Louise Keely, 2001. "Using Patents In Growth Models," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(6), pages 449-492.
    6. Niwa, Sumiko, 2016. "Patent claims and economic growth," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 377-381.
    7. Andrea Mantovani, 2006. "Complementarity between product and process innovation in a monopoly setting," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 219-234.
    8. Nancy Gallini & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2002. "Intellectual Property: When Is It the Best Incentive System?," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 2, pages 51-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Chu, Angus C. & Cozzi, Guido & Galli, Silvia, 2012. "Does intellectual monopoly stimulate or stifle innovation?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 727-746.
    10. Bourreau, Marc & Dogan, PInar, 2010. "Cooperation in product development and process R&D between competitors," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 176-190, March.
    11. Swati Dhingra, 2011. "Trading Away Wide Brands for Cheap Brands," CEP Discussion Papers dp1103, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    12. Aoki, Reiko & Spiegel, Yossi, 2009. "Pre-grant patent publication and cumulative innovation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 333-345, May.
    13. Gallini, Nancy, 2014. "Cooperating with competitors: Patent pooling and choice of a new standard," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 4-21.
    14. Langinier, Corinne, 2004. "Are patents strategic barriers to entry?," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, pages 349-361.
    15. David Gill, 2008. "Strategic Disclosure of Intermediate Research Results," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 733-758, September.
    16. Saha, Souresh, 2014. "Firm's objective function and product and process R&D," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 484-494.
    17. Gallini, Nancy, 2015. "Promoting Competition by Coordinating Prices: When Rivals Share Intellectual Property," Economics working papers nancy_gallini-2015-22, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 07 Dec 2015.
    18. Aoki, R. & Spiegel, Y., 1998. "Public Disclosure of Patent Applications, R&D, and Welfare," Papers 30-98, Tel Aviv.
    19. R�gibeau, P & Rockett, K, 2004. "The Relationship Between Intellectual Property Law and Competition Law: An Economic Approach," Economics Discussion Papers 2851, University of Essex, Department of Economics.

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