Intellectual Property Protection and Technology Licensing: The Case of Developing Countries
This paper studies the influence of stronger patent protection on technology licensing. Using data for the post–Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) period and focusing on developing countries, I correct for any endogeneity biases that may bedevil estimation. Employing a more inclusive index of patent protection than hitherto, which better accounts for the enforcement and implementation environment, I find that stronger protection is associated with increased royalty and license fee payments, which implies greater technology transfer to developing countries. The significance of the protection variable is driven by the subindex of patent coverage, which makes eminent sense in view of the increase in the coverage of patentable matter by developing countries after TRIPS. The economic significance of the protection variable is also substantial, with ceteris paribus changes in this variable accounting for technology inflows of U.S.$2.5–$3.2 billion (base year 2000) in the post-TRIPS sample period.
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