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On the Social Desirability of Patents for Sequential Innovations in a Vertically Differentiated Market

  • L. Lambertini
  • P. Tedeschi

We consider a market for vertically differentiated goods where firms enter over time, after having developed innovations characterised by different quality levels. We show that patent height and length interact to determine the ultimate emergence of duopoly. In general, imposing quality improvements on later entrants entails the persistence of monopoly, while a duopoly equilibrium emerges when the second innovator is allowed to produce a sufficiently inferior quality and the patent protection granted to the first innovator is not too long-lasting.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number 376.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:376
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  1. Dutta, Prajit K & Lach, Saul & Rustichini, Aldo, 1995. "Better Late Than Early: Vertical Differentiation in the Adoption of a New Technology," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(4), pages 563-89, Winter.
  2. Choi, Chong Ju & Shin, Hyun Song, 1992. "A Comment on a Model of Vertical Product Differentiation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 229-31, June.
  3. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  4. Donnenfeld, S. & Weber, S., 1991. "Limit Qualities and Entry Deterrence," Papers 92-4, York (Canada) - Department of Economics.
  5. Mansfield, Edwin & Schwartz, Mark & Wagner, Samuel, 1981. "Imitation Costs and Patents: An Empirical Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(364), pages 907-18, December.
  6. Jaskold Gabszewicz, J. & Thisse, J. -F., 1979. "Price competition, quality and income disparities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 340-359, June.
  7. Richard Gilbert and Carl Shapiro., 1989. "Optimal Patent Length and Breadth," Economics Working Papers 89-102, University of California at Berkeley.
  8. Beath, John & Katsoulacos, Yannis & Ulph, David, 1987. "Sequential Product Innovation and Industry Evolution," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388a), pages 32-43, Supplemen.
  9. Paul Klemperer, 1990. "How Broad Should the Scope of Patent Protection Be?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 113-130, Spring.
  10. van Dijk, Theon, 1996. "Patent Height and Competition in Product Improvements," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 151-67, June.
  11. Ulrich Lehmann-Grube, 1997. "Strategic Choice of Quality When Quality is Costly: The Persistence of the High-Quality Advantage," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(2), pages 372-384, Summer.
  12. Motta, M., 1991. "Cooperative R&D and vertical product differentiation," CORE Discussion Papers 1991028, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  13. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1996. "Protecting Early Innovators: Should Second-Generation Products Be Patentable?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 322-331, Summer.
  14. James Bessen & Eric Maskin, 2009. "Sequential innovation, patents, and imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(4), pages 611-635.
  15. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
  16. 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.
  17. Green, J.R. & Scotchmer, S., 1993. "On the Division of Profit in Sequential Innovation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1638, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  18. Denicolo, Vincenzo, 1996. "Patent Races and Optimal Patent Breadth and Length," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 249-65, September.
  19. James Cardon & Dan Sasaki, 1998. "Preemptive Search and R&D Clustering," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(2), pages 324-338, Summer.
  20. Donnenfeld, Shabtai & Weber, Shlomo, 1992. "Vertical product differentiation with entry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 449-472, September.
  21. GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Entry (and exit) in a differentiated industry," CORE Discussion Papers RP -400, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  22. Aoki, Reiko & Prusa, Thomas J., 1997. "Sequential versus simultaneous choice with endogenous quality," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 103-121, February.
  23. Rosenkranz, Stephanie, 1997. "Quality improvements and the incentive to leapfrog," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 243-261, April.
  24. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1983. "Natural Oligopolies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1469-83, September.
  25. Lambertini, Luca, 1999. "Endogenous timing and the choice of quality in a vertically differentiated duopoly," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 101-109, March.
  26. Rosenkranz, Stephanie, 1995. "Innovation and cooperation under vertical product differentiation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-22, March.
  27. Motta, Massimo, 1993. "Endogenous Quality Choice: Price vs. Quantity Competition," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 113-31, June.
  28. Nancy T. Gallini, 1992. "Patent Policy and Costly Imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(1), pages 52-63, Spring.
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