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Licensing weak patents

  • David Encaoua

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics)

  • Yassine Lefouili

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics)

In this paper, we revisit the issue of licensing ‘weak' patents under the shadow of litigation. Departing from the seminal paper by Farrell and Shapiro [2008], we consider innovations of any size and not only ‘small' innovations, and we allow the number of licensees to be less than the number of firms in the downstream industry. It is shown that the optimal two-part tariff license from the patent holder's perspective may either deter or trigger litigation, and conditions underwhich each case arises are provided. We also reexamine the claim that the licensing revenues from ‘weak' patents overcompensate the patent holder relative to what a natural benchmarkwould command. Finally we suggest two policy levers that may alleviate the harm raised by the licensing of ‘weak' patents.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00415747.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00415747
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  1. Amir, Rabah & Wooders, John, 2000. "One-Way Spillovers, Endogenous Innovator/Imitator Roles, and Research Joint Ventures," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-25, April.
  2. Stuart J. H. Graham & Bronwyn H. Hall & Dietmar Harhoff & David C. Mowery, 2003. "Post-Issue Patent "Quality Control": A Comparative Study of US Patent Re-examinations and European Patent Oppositions," Industrial Organization 0303009, EconWPA.
  3. 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.
  4. Sen, Debapriya & Tauman, Yair, 2007. "General licensing schemes for a cost-reducing innovation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 163-186, April.
  5. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 2008. "How Strong Are Weak Patents?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1347-69, September.
  6. Reiko Aoki & Jin-Li Hu, 1999. "Licensing vs. Litigation: The Effect of the Legal System on Incentives to Innovate," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(1), pages 133-160, 03.
  7. David Encaoua & Abraham Hollander, 2002. "Competition Policy and Innovation," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00185360, HAL.
  8. Crampes, Claude & Langinier, Corinne, 2002. "Litigation and Settlement in Patent Infringement Cases," Staff General Research Papers 5231, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  9. Fevrier, Philippe & Linnemer, Laurent, 2004. "Idiosyncratic shocks in an asymmetric Cournot oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 835-848, June.
  10. Sen, Debapriya, 2005. "Fee versus royalty reconsidered," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 141-147, October.
  11. Lemley, Mark A & Shapiro, Carl, 2007. "Patent Hold-Up and Royalty Stacking," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt8638s257, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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