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Knowledge Disclosure as Intellectual Property Rights Protection

  • Carlos Ponce

We consider the problem of an inventor who discloses knowledge under the threat of a rival who may patent a competing idea. Disclosure diminishes the probability that the rival has of receiving a patent (legal externality) but it also decreases the rival’s marginal R&D cost (knowledge externality). Our results reveal that: (i) when the knowledge externality is ‘large’ (‘small’) relative to the legal one, an increase (decrease) in the patentability standard leads to higher disclosure and promotes R&D and (ii) if subsequent research creates positive external effects, the patentability standard should be set to promote further disclosure and R&D in equilibrium. The impact on the equilibrium configuration of changes in market profits is also examined.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 618897000000000550.

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Date of creation: 31 Oct 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:618897000000000550
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  1. 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.
  2. David Gill, 2008. "Strategic Disclosure of Intermediate Research Results," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 733-758, 09.
  3. Wesley M Cohen & Richard R Nelson & John P Walsh, 2003. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (Or Not)," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000624, David K. Levine.
  4. Aoki, Reiko & Spiegel, Yossi, 2009. "Pre-grant patent publication and cumulative innovation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 333-345, May.
  5. Vincenzo Denicolo & Luigi Alberto Franzoni, 2004. "Patents, Secrets, and the First-Inventor Defense," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 517-538, 09.
  6. 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.
  7. James J. Anton & Dennis A. Yao, 2003. "Patents, Invalidity, and the Strategic Transmission of Enabling Information," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 151-178, 06.
  8. D'ASPREMONT, Claude & BHATTACHARYA, Sudipto & GERARD-VARET, Louis-André, . "Bargaining and sharing innovative knowledge," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1465, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Lanjouw, Jean O & Schankerman, Mark, 2001. "Characteristics of Patent Litigation: A Window on Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 129-51, Spring.
  10. 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.
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