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Licensing weak patents

Author

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  • David Encaoua

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

  • Yassine Lefouili

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • David Encaoua & Yassine Lefouili, 2009. "Licensing weak patents," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00415747, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00415747 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6451.2009.00386.x Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00415747
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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 129-151, Spring.
    2. David Encaoua & Abraham Hollander, 2002. "Competition Policy and Innovation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 63-79, Spring.
    3. 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.
    4. Graham, Stuart J. H. & Hall, Bronwyn H. & Harhoff, Dietmar & Mowery, David C., 2002. "Post-Issue Patent "Quality Control": A Comparative Study of US Patent Re-Examinations and European Patent Oppositions," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2qt097bd, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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    7. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 2008. "How Strong Are Weak Patents?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1347-1369.
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    12. 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, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Amir, Rabah & Encaoua, David & Lefouili, Yassine, 2014. "Optimal licensing of uncertain patents in the shadow of litigation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 320-338.
    2. Böhme, Enrico & Frank, Severin & Kerber, Wolfgang, 2016. "Optimal Incentives for Patent Challenges in the Pharmaceutical Industry," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145637, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Severin Frank & Wolfgang Kerber, 2016. "Patent Settlements in the Pharmaceutical Industry: What Can We Learn From Economic Analysis?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201601, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    4. Xue, Minggao & Su, Lili, 2011. "Licensing to a durable-good duopoly in patent litigation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 1186-1194, May.
    5. Gaessler, Fabian & Lefouili, Yassine, 2017. "What to Buy When Forum Shopping? Analyzing Court Selection in Patent Litigation," TSE Working Papers 17-775, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    6. Cremers, Katrin & Gaessler, Fabian & Harhoff, Dietmar & Helmers, Christian & Lefouili, Yassine, 2016. "Invalid but infringed? An analysis of the bifurcated patent litigation system," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 218-242.

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