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Choosing Intellectual Protection: Imitation, Patent Strength and Licensing

Author

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  • David Encaoua

    () (EUREQUA - Equipe Universitaire de Recherche en Economie Quantitative - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Yassine Lefouili

    ()

Abstract

Patents are probabilistic rights. We set up a multi-stage model in which choosing between patent and trade secrecy is affected by three parameters : the patent strength defined as the probability that the right is upheld by the court, the cost of imitating a patented innovation relative to the cost of imitating a secret innovation, and the innovation size defined as the magnitude of the cost reduction. The choice of the protection regime is the result of two effects: the damage effect evaluated under the unjust enrichment doctrine and the effect of market competition that occurs under the shadow of infringement. We find that large innovations are likely to be kept secret whereas small innovations are always patented. Furthermore, medium innovations are patented only when patent strength is sufficiently high. Finally, we investigate a class of patent licensing agreements used to settle patent disputes between patent holders and their competitors.

Suggested Citation

  • David Encaoua & Yassine Lefouili, 2005. "Choosing Intellectual Protection: Imitation, Patent Strength and Licensing," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00496942, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00496942
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00496942
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Encaoua & Abraham Hollander, 2002. "Competition Policy and Innovation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 63-79, Spring.
    2. Mark A. Lemley & Carl Shapiro, 2005. "Probabilistic Patents," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 75-98, Spring.
    3. James J. Anton & Dennis A. Yao, 2007. "Finding "Lost" Profits: An Equilibrium Analysis of Patent Infringement Damages," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 186-207, April.
    4. Suzanne Scotchmer & Jerry Green, 1990. "Novelty and Disclosure in Patent Law," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 131-146, Spring.
    5. Nancy T. Gallini, 1992. "Patent Policy and Costly Imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(1), pages 52-63, Spring.
    6. Encaoua, David & Guellec, Dominique & Martinez, Catalina, 2006. "Patent systems for encouraging innovation: Lessons from economic analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 1423-1440, November.
    7. James J. Anton & Dennis A. Yao, 2004. "Little Patents and Big Secrets: Managing Intellectual Property," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(1), pages 1-22, Spring.
    8. Crampes, Claude, 1986. "Les inconvénients d’un dépôt de brevet pour une entreprise innovatrice," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 62(4), pages 521-534, décembre.
    9. Scherer, F. M., 1983. "The propensity to patent," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 107-128, March.
    10. F. M. Scherer, 2005. "Patents," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3903, December.
    11. Horstmann, Ignatius & MacDonald, Glenn M & Slivinski, Alan, 1985. "Patents as Information Transfer Mechanisms: To Patent or (Maybe) Not to Patent," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 837-858, October.
    12. James Anton & Hillary Greene & Dennis Yao, 2006. "Policy Implications of Weak Patent Rights," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 6, pages 1-26 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Encaoua, David & Guellec, Dominique & Martinez, Catalina, 2006. "Patent systems for encouraging innovation: Lessons from economic analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 1423-1440, November.
    2. Bouguezzi, Fehmi & EL ELJ, Moez, 2009. "Vertical Integration and Patent Licensing in Upstream and Downstream Markets," MPRA Paper 22212, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Bronwyn Hall & Christian Helmers & Mark Rogers & Vania Sena, 2014. "The Choice between Formal and Informal Intellectual Property: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(2), pages 375-423, June.
    4. Bronwyn H. Hall & Christian Helmers & Mark Rogers & Vania Sena, 2012. "The Choice between Formal and Informal Intellectual Property: A Literature Review," NBER Working Papers 17983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:kap:sbusec:v:50:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11187-017-9898-y is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Rabah Amir & David Encaoua & Yassine Lefouili, 2013. "Optimal Licensing of Uncertain Patents in the Shadow of Litigation," Working Papers halshs-00847955, HAL.
    7. Mabrouki, Mohamed, 2018. "Le brevet : un instrument efficace pour promouvoir l’innovation au profit de la croissance ou un mal nécessaire ?
      [Patent: an effective instrument to promote innovation for the benefit of growth or
      ," MPRA Paper 85752, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. 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.
    9. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Biancini, Sara, 2009. "Intellectual Property Rights Adoption in Developing Countries," TSE Working Papers 09-094, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    10. repec:wfo:wstudy:41059 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    probabilistic right; patent strength; innovation size; imitation cost; trade secrecy; droit probabiliste; force du brevet; taille de l'innovation; coût d'imitation; secret commercial;

    JEL classification:

    • D45 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Rationing; Licensing
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • 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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