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Optimal Rules For Patent Races

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  • By Kenneth L. Judd
  • Karl Schmedders
  • Şevin Yeltekin

Abstract

There are two important rules to patent races: minimal accomplishment necessary to receive the patent and the allocation of the innovation benefits. We study the optimal combination of these rules. A planner, who cannot distinguish between competing firms in a multistage innovation race, chooses the patent rules by maximizing either consumer or social surplus. We show that efficiency cost of prizes is a key consideration. Races are undesirable only when efficiency costs are low, firms are similar, and social surplus is maximized. Otherwise, the optimal policy involves a race of nontrivial duration to spur innovation and filter out inferior innovators.

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  • By Kenneth L. Judd & Karl Schmedders & Şevin Yeltekin, 2012. "Optimal Rules For Patent Races," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(1), pages 23-52, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:iecrev:v:53:y:2012:i:1:p:23-52
    DOI: j.1468-2354.2011.00670.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Malerba, Franco, 2007. "Innovation and the dynamics and evolution of industries: Progress and challenges," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 675-699, August.
    2. Weintraub, Gabriel Y. & Benkard, C. Lanier & Van Roy, Benjamin, 2007. "Computational Methods for Oblivious Equilibrium," Research Papers 1969, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    3. Fershtman, Chaim & Markovich, Sarit, 2010. "Patents, imitation and licensing in an asymmetric dynamic R&D race," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 113-126, March.
    4. Derek Clark & Christian Riis, 2007. "Contingent payments in selection contests," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 11(2), pages 125-137, September.
    5. Brüggemann, Julia & Meub, Lukas, 2017. "Experimental evidence on the effects of innovation contests," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 72-83.
    6. Yuan, Michael Y., 2005. "Does decrease in copying cost support copyright term extension?," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 471-494, October.
    7. Fershtman, Chaim & Markovich, Sarit, 2006. "Patents, Imitation and Licensing In an Asymmetric Dynamic R&D Race," Foerder Institute for Economic Research Working Papers 275706, Tel-Aviv University > Foerder Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Brueggemann, Julia & Meub, Lukas, 2015. "Experimental evidence on the effects of innovation contests," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 251, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    9. Gabriel Weintraub & C. Lanier Benkard & Ben Van Roy, 2005. "Markov Perfect Industry Dynamics with Many Firms," NBER Working Papers 11900, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Borkovsky, Ron N. & Doraszelski, Ulrich & Kryukov, Yaroslav, 2008. "A User's Guide to Solving Dynamic Stochastic Games Using the Homotopy Method," CEPR Discussion Papers 6733, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Gabriel Y. Weintraub & C. Lanier Benkard & Benjamin Van Roy, 2010. "Computational Methods for Oblivious Equilibrium," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 58(4-part-2), pages 1247-1265, August.
    12. Gregor Schwerhoff & Ottmar Edenhofer & Marc Fleurbaey, 2020. "Taxation Of Economic Rents," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 398-423, April.
    13. Weintraub, Gabriel Y. & Benkard, C. Lanier & Van Roy, Benjamin, 2007. "Markov Perfect Industry Dynamics with Many Firms," Research Papers 1919r, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    14. Ron N. Borkovsky & Ulrich Doraszelski & Yaroslav Kryukov, "undated". "A User''s Guide to Solving Dynamic Stochastic Games Using the Homotopy Method," GSIA Working Papers 2009-E23, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    15. C. Lanier Benkard & Benjamin Van Roy & Gabriel Y. Weintraub, 2005. "Markov perfect industry dynamics with many firms," Working Paper Series 2005-23, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

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