National patents, innovation and international agreements
One of the most contentious issues arising from the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations was the attempt to harmonize patent policy. However, previous theoretical models have failed to provide a clear rationale for the coordination of patent policy, indeed they imply that world welfare may decline as a result of coordination. This paper argues that the conclusions of previous studies have been derived from definitions of patents that neglect to specify their duration. As a consequence, the monopoly distortion associated with patents has been overemphasized. In contrast, this paper models the choice of the hazard of imitation under a patent as a policy variable. This allows for a more detailed analysis of the determinants of patent policy in an international context, and isolates two externalities when countries set patent policy independently. These externalities arise from a free-riding incentive (policy competition) and the international spillovers from an innovation. Since these considerations influence the patent strength in both developed and developing countries, patents set on a national basis are inefficient from a global perspective. This provides an economic rational for international coordination of patent policy.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 11 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RJTE20|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/RJTE20|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:11:y:2001:i:1:p:1-14. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.