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Patents vs trade secrets: knowledge licensing and spillover

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  • Bhattacharya, Sudipto
  • Guriev, Sergei

Abstract

We develop a model of two-stage cumulative research and development (R&D), in which one Research Unit (RU) with an innovative idea bargains to license her nonverifiable interim knowledge exclusively to one of two competing Development Units (DUs) via one of two alternative modes: an Open sale after patenting this knowledge, or a Closed sale in which precluding further disclosure to a competing DU requires the RU to hold a stake in the licensed DU’s post-invention revenues. Both modes lead to partial leakage of RU’s knowledge from its description, to the licensed DU alone in a closed sale, and to both DUs in an open sale. We find that higher levels of interim knowledge are more likely to be licensed via closed sales. If the extent of leakage is lower, more RUs choose open sales, generating a non-monotonic relationship between the strength of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and aggregate R&D expenditures and the overall likelihood of development by either DU.

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  • Bhattacharya, Sudipto & Guriev, Sergei, 2005. "Patents vs trade secrets: knowledge licensing and spillover," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 444, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:444
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    Cited by:

    1. Sergei Guriev & Sudipto Bhattacharya, 2008. "Control Rights over Intellectual Property: Corporate Venturing and Bankruptcy Regimes," FMG Discussion Papers dp618, Financial Markets Group.
    2. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:806-824 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Crass, Dirk & Garcia Valero, Francisco & Pitton, Francesco & Rammer, Christian, 2016. "Protecting innovation through patents and trade secrets: Determinants and performance impacts for firms with a single innovation," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-061, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    4. Marie-Laure Allain & Claire Chambolle & Patrick Rey, 2010. "Vertical Integration, Innovation and Foreclosure," Working Papers hal-00544494, HAL.
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    6. Tsai Tsung-Sheng & Kung Sheng-Chiao, 2011. "Sequential Investments, Know-How Transmission, and Optimal Organization," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-24, December.
    7. Gerard Llobet & Javier Suarez, 2010. "Entrepreneurial Innovation, Patent Protection and Industry Dynamics," Working Papers wp2010_1001, CEMFI.
    8. Evans, Shane, 2010. "Innovation contracts with leakage through licensing," Working Papers 10282, University of Tasmania, Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, revised 05 Oct 2010.
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    14. BHATTACHARYA, Sudipto & D’ASPREMONT, Claude & GURIEV, Sergei & SEN, Debapriya, 2012. "Cooperation in R&D: patenting, licensing and contracting," CORE Discussion Papers 2012055, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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    16. Nicolas Jullien & Jean-Benoît Zimmermann, 2011. "FLOSS in an industrial economics perspective," Revue d'économie industrielle, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(4), pages 39-64.
    17. Billette de Villemeur, Etienne & Versaevel, Bruno, 2017. "One Lab, Two Firms, Many Possibilities: on R&D outsourcing in the biopharmaceutical industry," MPRA Paper 76903, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Allain, Marie-Laure & Chambolle, Claire & Rey, Patrick, 2011. "Vertical Integration, Information and Foreclosure," IDEI Working Papers 673, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Nov 2011.
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    22. Leppälä, Samuli, 2013. "Arrow's paradox and markets for nonproprietary information," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2013/2, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
    23. Richard T. Thakor & Andrew W. Lo, 2015. "Competition and R&D Financing Decisions: Theory and Evidence from the Biopharmaceutical Industry," NBER Working Papers 20903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Heger, Diana & Zaby, Alexandra K., 2012. "Giving away the game? The impact of the disclosure effect on the patenting decision," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-010, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    JEL classification codes : D23; O32; O34;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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