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Patents, Imitation and Licensing in an Asymmetric Dynamic R&D Race

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  • Fershtman, Chaim
  • Markovich, Sarit

Abstract

R&D is an inherently dynamic process which involves different intermediate steps that need to be developed before the completion of the final invention. Firms are not necessarily symmetric in their R&D abilities; some may have advantages in early stages of the R&D process while others may have advantages in other stages of the process. The paper uses a simple two-firm asymmetric ability multistage R&D race model to analyse the effect of different types of patent policy regimes and licensing arrangement on the speed of innovation, firm value and consumers' surplus. The paper demonstrates the circumstances under which a weak patent protection regime, which facilitates free imitation of any intermediate technology, may yield a higher overall surplus than a regime that awards patent for the final innovation. This result holds even in cases where the length of the patent is optimally calculated.

Suggested Citation

  • Fershtman, Chaim & Markovich, Sarit, 2006. "Patents, Imitation and Licensing in an Asymmetric Dynamic R&D Race," CEPR Discussion Papers 5481, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5481
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Yang, Xuebing, 2013. "Horizontal inventive step and international protection of intellectual property," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 338-355.
    2. Cary Deck & Erik O. Kimbrough, 2016. "Experimenting with Contests for Experimentation," Discussion Papers dp16-08, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    3. Nisvan Erkal & Deborah Minehart, 2013. "Optimal Sharing Strategies in Dynamic," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1174, The University of Melbourne.
    4. Cerqueti, Roy & Quaranta, Anna Grazia & Ventura, Marco, 2016. "Innovation, imitation and policy inaction," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 22-30.
    5. Olga Slivko & Bernd Theilen, 2014. "Innovation or imitation? The effect of spillovers and competitive pressure on firms’ R&D strategy choice," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 112(3), pages 253-282, July.
    6. Brüggemann, Julia & Crosetto, Paolo & Meub, Lukas & Bizer, Kilian, 2016. "Intellectual property rights hinder sequential innovation. Experimental evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 2054-2068.
    7. repec:eee:ejores:v:267:y:2018:i:2:p:570-584 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    licensing; patent protection; R&D race;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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