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A Theory of Patent Portfolios

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  • Jay Pil Choi
  • Heiko Gerlach

Abstract

This paper develops a theory of patent portfolios in which firms accumulate an enormous amount of related patents in diverse technology fields such that it becomes impractical to develop a new product that with certainty does not inadvertently infringe on other firms’ patent portfolios. We investigate how litigation incentives for the holders of patent portfolios impact the incentives to introduce new products and draw welfare implications. We also consider a patent portfolio acquisition game in which a third party’s patent portfolio is up for sale.

Suggested Citation

  • Jay Pil Choi & Heiko Gerlach, 2013. "A Theory of Patent Portfolios," CESifo Working Paper Series 4405, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4405
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp4405.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Carl Shapiro, 2006. "Prior User Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 92-96, May.
    2. Daniel F. Spulber, 2013. "How Do Competitive Pressures Affect Incentives to Innovate When There Is a Market for Inventions?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(6), pages 1007-1054.
    3. repec:oup:jcomle:v:9:y:2013:i:4:p:879-904. is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Siebert, Ralph & von Graevenitz, Georg, 2010. "Jostling for advantage or not: Choosing between patent portfolio races and ex ante licensing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 225-245, February.
    5. Nirvikar Singh & Xavier Vives, 1984. "Price and Quantity Competition in a Differentiated Duopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 546-554, Winter.
    6. Carl Shapiro, 2010. "Injunctions, Hold-Up, and Patent Royalties-super-1," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 509-557.
    7. James E. Bessen & Michael J. Meurer, 2006. "Patent Litigation with Endogenous Disputes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 77-81, May.
    8. Andrei Hagiu & David B. Yoffie, 2013. "The New Patent Intermediaries: Platforms, Defensive Aggregators, and Super-Aggregators," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 45-66, Winter.
    9. Gallini, Nancy T, 1984. "Deterrence by Market Sharing: A Strategic Incentive for Licensing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 931-941, December.
    10. Hall, Bronwyn H & Ziedonis, Rosemarie Ham, 2001. "The Patent Paradox Revisited: An Empirical Study of Patenting in the U.S. Semiconductor Industry, 1979-1995," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 101-128, Spring.
    11. Michael L. Katz & Carl Shapiro, 1985. "On the Licensing of Innovations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(4), pages 504-520, Winter.
    12. Denicolò, Vincenzo & Zanchettin, Piercarlo, 2012. "A dynamic model of patent portfolio races," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 924-927.
    13. Gilbert, Richard J & Newbery, David M G, 1982. "Preemptive Patenting and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 514-526, June.
    14. Rosemarie Ham Ziedonis, 2004. "Don't Fence Me In: Fragmented Markets for Technology and the Patent Acquisition Strategies of Firms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(6), pages 804-820, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jay Pil Choi & Heiko Gerlach, 2018. "A Model Of Patent Trolls," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 59(4), pages 2075-2106, November.
    2. Gabrovski, Miroslav, 2017. "Coordination Frictions and Economic Growth," MPRA Paper 81298, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 17 Jul 2017.
    3. Carlo Capuano & Iacopo Grassi, 2018. "Patent Protection and Threat of Litigation in Oligopoly," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 2018/03, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    patent portfolios; patent litigation; practicing and non-practicing entities; patent troll;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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