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The Role of Patent Rights in Mergers: Consolidation in Plant Biotechnology


  • Marco, Alan C.
  • Rausser, Gordon C.


Few micro-level empirical papers have addressed the impact of the patent system on industry structure. Using firm-level patent data for public and private firms in plant biotechnology, we develop a measure of patent enforceability. Duration models show that patent statistics are a useful predictor of the timing of merger activity. We find that patent enforceability is an important factor influencing the likelihood of mergers. Mergers in plant biotechnology may be partially motivated by the enforcement of patent rights when firms have overlapping technologies; some of the merger activity may be explained by attempts to avoid mutually blocking technology, as exemplified in the case of Roundup Ready corn.

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  • Marco, Alan C. & Rausser, Gordon C., 2007. "The Role of Patent Rights in Mergers: Consolidation in Plant Biotechnology," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt2dk2x9hm, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt2dk2x9hm

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Galushko, Viktoriya & Gray, Richard & Smyth, Stuart & Arnison, Paul, 2010. "Resolving FTO Barriers in GM Canola," 14th ICABR Conference, June 16-18, 2010, Ravello, Italy 188092, International Consortium on Applied Bioeconomy Research (ICABR).
    2. Johannes Van Der Pol, 2015. "Structural dynamics of the French aerospace sector: A network analysis," Working Papers hal-01284993, HAL.
    3. Tiffany Shih & Brian Wright, 2011. "Agricultural Innovation," NBER Chapters,in: Accelerating Energy Innovation: Insights from Multiple Sectors, pages 49-85 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Rousselière, Samira & Rousselière, Damien & Ramani, Shyama, 2016. "Innovation Led Alliances: Theory and application to the GM Plant Industry," 149th Seminar, October 27-28, 2016, Rennes, France 244949, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Alessandro D. SCOPELLITI, 2010. "Competition And Economic Growth: A Critical Survey Of The Theoretical Literature," Journal of Applied Economic Sciences, Spiru Haret University, Faculty of Financial Management and Accounting Craiova, vol. 5(1(11)_Spr), pages 70-93.
    6. Oehmke James F. & Naseem Anwar, 2016. "Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As), Market Structure and Inventive Activity in the Agricultural Biotechnology Industry," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 14(1), pages 19-32, May.
    7. Johannes VAN DER POL, 2016. "The French Aerospace Sector Collaboration Network : Structural Dynamics And Firm Performance," Cahiers du GREThA 2016-24, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    8. Sheldon, Ian M., 2008. "The Biotechnology Sector: "Bounds" to Market Structure," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6078, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    9. Cédric Schneider, 2011. "The battle for patent rights in plant biotechnology: evidence from opposition fillings," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 36(5), pages 565-579, October.
    10. Pardey, Philip G. & Koo, Bonwoo & Drew, Jennifer & Nottenburg, Carol, 2012. "The Evolving Landscape of IP Rights for Plant Varieties in the United States, 1930-2008," Staff Papers 119346, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
    11. Nadolnyak, Denis & Miranda, Mario J. & Sheldon, Ian, 2011. "Genetically modified crops as real options: Identifying regional and country-specific differences," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 455-463, July.


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