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Waiting to Imitate: On the Dynamic Pricing of Knowledge

  • Emeric Henry
  • Carlos J. Ponce

We study the problem of an inventor who brings to the market an innovation that can be legally imitated. Imitators may “enter” the market by imitating the innovation at a cost or by buying from the inventor the knowledge necessary to reproduce and use the invention. The possibility of contracting dramatically affects the need for patent protection. Our results show that (i) imitators wait to enter the market and the inventor becomes a temporary monopolist; (ii) the inventor sells knowledge through contracts that allow resale by the imitators; and (iii) under certain conditions, the inventor’s payoff increases with the number of imitators.

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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1086/662721
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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/662721
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 119 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 959 - 981

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/662721
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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  1. Nancy Gallini and Suzanne Scotchmer., 2001. "Intellectual Property: When Is It the Best Incentive System?," Economics Working Papers E01-303, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Benoit, Jean-Pierre, 1985. "Innovation and Imitation in a Duopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 99-106, January.
  3. Anton, James J & Yao, Dennis A, 1994. "Expropriation and Inventions: Appropriable Rents in the Absence of Property Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 190-209, March.
  4. Katharine E. Rockett, 1990. "Choosing the Competition and Patent Licensing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 161-171, Spring.
  5. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, June.
  6. Ashish Arora & Andrea Fosfuri & Alfonso Gambardella, 2004. "Markets for Technology: The Economics of Innovation and Corporate Strategy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262511819, June.
  7. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1984. "Strategic Deterrence of Sequential Entry into an Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(1), pages 1-11, Spring.
  8. Arora, Ashish & Fosfuri, Andrea, 1999. "Licensing the Market for Technology," CEPR Discussion Papers 2284, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Wesley M Cohen & Richard R Nelson & John P Walsh, 2003. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (Or Not)," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000624, David K. Levine.
  10. Gallini, Nancy T, 1984. "Deterrence by Market Sharing: A Strategic Incentive for Licensing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 931-41, December.
  11. Arundel, Anthony, 2001. "The relative effectiveness of patents and secrecy for appropriation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 611-624, April.
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