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Choosing Intellectual Protection: Imitation, Patent Strength and Licensing

In: Contributions in Memory of Zvi Griliches

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  • David Encaoua
  • Yassine Lefouili

Abstract

Patents are probabilistic rights. We set up a multi-stage model in which choosing between patent and trade secrecy is affected by three parameters : the patent strength defined as the probability that the right is upheld by the court, the cost of imitating a patented innovation relative to the cost of imitating a secret innovation, and the innovation size defined as the magnitude of the cost reduction. The choice of the protection regime is the result of two effects: the damage effect evaluated under the unjust enrichment doctrine and the effect of market competition that occurs under the shadow of infringement. We find that large innovations are likely to be kept secret whereas small innovations are always patented. Furthermore, medium innovations are patented only when patent strength is sufficiently high. Finally, we investigate a class of patent licensing agreements used to settle patent disputes between patent holders and their competitors.
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Suggested Citation

  • David Encaoua & Yassine Lefouili, 2010. "Choosing Intellectual Protection: Imitation, Patent Strength and Licensing," NBER Chapters, in: Contributions in Memory of Zvi Griliches, pages 241-271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12235
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Encaoua & Abraham Hollander, 2002. "Competition Policy and Innovation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 63-79, Spring.
    2. Mark A. Lemley & Carl Shapiro, 2005. "Probabilistic Patents," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 75-98, Spring.
    3. James J. Anton & Dennis A. Yao, 2007. "Finding "Lost" Profits: An Equilibrium Analysis of Patent Infringement Damages," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 186-207, April.
    4. Suzanne Scotchmer & Jerry Green, 1990. "Novelty and Disclosure in Patent Law," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 131-146, Spring.
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    6. Encaoua, David & Guellec, Dominique & Martinez, Catalina, 2006. "Patent systems for encouraging innovation: Lessons from economic analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 1423-1440, November.
    7. James J. Anton & Dennis A. Yao, 2004. "Little Patents and Big Secrets: Managing Intellectual Property," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(1), pages 1-22, Spring.
    8. Crampes, Claude, 1986. "Les inconvénients d’un dépôt de brevet pour une entreprise innovatrice," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 62(4), pages 521-534, décembre.
    9. Scherer, F. M., 1983. "The propensity to patent," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 107-128, March.
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    11. Horstmann, Ignatius & MacDonald, Glenn M & Slivinski, Alan, 1985. "Patents as Information Transfer Mechanisms: To Patent or (Maybe) Not to Patent," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 837-858, October.
    12. James Anton & Hillary Greene & Dennis Yao, 2006. "Policy Implications of Weak Patent Rights," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 6, pages 1-26, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bouguezzi, Fehmi & EL ELJ, Moez, 2009. "Vertical Integration and Patent Licensing in Upstream and Downstream Markets," MPRA Paper 22212, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Mohamed MABROUKI, 2018. "What Kind Of Intellectual Propfrty Regime Is More Favorable To Innovation: With Or Without A Patent?," Journal of Smart Economic Growth, , vol. 3(1), pages 77-95, Juin.
    3. Ganguly, Madhuparna, 2021. "Stronger Patent Regime, Innovation and Scientist Mobility," MPRA Paper 107635, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Bronwyn Hall & Christian Helmers & Mark Rogers & Vania Sena, 2014. "The Choice between Formal and Informal Intellectual Property: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(2), pages 375-423, June.
    5. Heijdra, Ben J. & Ligthart, Jenny E., 2007. "Fiscal policy, monopolistic competition, and finite lives," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 325-359, January.
    6. Amir, Rabah & Encaoua, David & Lefouili, Yassine, 2014. "Optimal licensing of uncertain patents in the shadow of litigation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 320-338.
    7. Encaoua, David & Guellec, Dominique & Martinez, Catalina, 2006. "Patent systems for encouraging innovation: Lessons from economic analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 1423-1440, November.
    8. Karin Beukel & Minyuan Zhao, 2018. "IP litigation is local, but those who litigate are global," Journal of International Business Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 1(1), pages 53-70, June.
    9. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Biancini, Sara, 2009. "Intellectual Property Rights Adoption in Developing Countries," TSE Working Papers 09-094, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    10. Kafouros, Mario & Aliyev, Murod & Krammer, Sorin M.S., 2021. "Do firms profit from patent litigation? The contingent roles of diversification and intangible assets," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(6).
    11. Bronwyn H. Hall & Christian Helmers & Mark Rogers & Vania Sena, 2012. "The Choice between Formal and Informal Intellectual Property: A Literature Review," NBER Working Papers 17983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Reinhilde Veugelers & Cédric Schneider, 2018. "Which IP strategies do young highly innovative firms choose?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 113-129, January.
    13. Jos Jansen, 2011. "On Competition and the Strategic Management of Intellectual Property in Oligopoly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 1043-1072, December.
    14. Mabrouki, Mohamed, 2018. "Le brevet : un instrument efficace pour promouvoir l’innovation au profit de la croissance ou un mal nécessaire ? [Patent: an effective instrument to promote innovation for the benefit of growth or," MPRA Paper 85752, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Werner Hölzl & Jürgen Janger & Andreas Reinstaller & Isabel Stadler & Fabian Unterlass & Stephanie Daimer & Thomas Stehnken, 2010. "Barriers to Internationalisation and Growth of EU's Innovative Companies. PRO INNO Europe: INNO-Grips II Report," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 41059, December.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D45 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Rationing; Licensing
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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