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Control Rights over Intellectual Property: Corporate Venturing and Bankruptcy Regimes

  • Bhattacharya, Sudipto
  • Guriev, Sergei

We develop a theory of control rights in the context of licensing interim innovative knowledge for further development, which is consistent with the inalienability of initial innovator’s intellectual property rights. Control rights of a downstream development unit, a buyer of the interim innovation, arise from its ability to prevent the upstream research unit from forming financial coalitions at the ex interim stage of bargaining, over the amount and structure of licensing fees as well as the mode of licensing, based either on trade secrets or on patents. We model explicitly the equilibrium choice of the temporal structure of licensing fees, and show that the innovator’s ex interim financial constraint is more likely to bind when the value of her innovation is low. By constraining the financial flexibility of the upstream unit vis-a-vis her choice over the mode of licensing of her interim knowledge, the controlling development unit is able to reduce the research unit’s payoff selectively in such contingencies. This serves to incentivise the research unit to expend more effort ex ante, to generate more promising interim innovations. We further show that such interim-inefficient control rights can nevertheless be renegotiation-proof.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6927.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6927
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  1. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1994. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 841-79, November.
  2. Viral V. Acharya & Krishnamurthy V. Subramanian, 2009. "Bankruptcy Codes and Innovation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(12), pages 4949-4988, December.
  3. Pisano, Gary P, 1989. "Using Equity Participation to Support Exchange: Evidence from the Biotechnology Industry," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 109-26, Spring.
  4. Paul Gompers & Josh Lerner, 2000. "The Determinants of Corporate Venture Capital Success: Organizational Structure, Incentives, and Complementarities," NBER Chapters, in: Concentrated Corporate Ownership, pages 17-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Sudipto Bhattacharya & Sergei Guriev, 2006. "Patents VS Trade Secrets: Knowledge Licensing and Spillover," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/3jesolrqda8, Sciences Po.
  6. Sudipto Bhattacharya & Sergei Guriev, 2004. "Knowledge Disclosure, Patents and Optimal Organization of Research and Development," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 478, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  7. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 2004. "Agreeing Now to Agree Later: Contracts that Rule Out but do not Rule In," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2032, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 473-94, July.
  9. Bharat N. Anand & Alexander Galetovic, 2000. "Weak Property Rights and Holdup in R&D," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 615-642, December.
  10. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "On the Management of Innovation," IDEI Working Papers 36, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  11. Samuel Kortum & Josh Lerner, 2000. "Assessing the Contribution of Venture Capital to Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(4), pages 674-692, Winter.
  12. repec:cep:stitep:/2004/478 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Bharant N. Anand & Alexander Galetovic, 1998. "Weak Property Rights and hold-up in R&D," Documentos de Trabajo 39, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
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