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Patent policy, patent pools, and the accumulation of claims in sequential innovation

  • Gaston Llanes

    ()

    (Harvard Business School, Entrepreneurial Management Unit)

  • Stefano Trento

    ()

    (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Historia Economica,)

We present a dynamic model where the accumulation of patents generates an increasing number of claims on sequential innovation. We study the equilibrium innovation activity under three regimes: patents, no-patents and patent pools. Patent pools increase the probability of innovation with respect to patents, but we also find that: (1) their outcome can be replicated by a licensing scheme in which innovators sell complete patent rights, and (2) they are dynamically unstable. We find that none of the above regimes can reach the first or second best. Finally, we consider patents of finite duration and determine the optimal patent length.

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Paper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 10-005.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:10-005
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  1. Hugo Sonnenschein, 1968. "The Dual of Duopoly Is Complementary Monopoly: or, Two of Cournot's Theories Are One," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 316.
  2. O'DONOGHUE, Ted & SCOTCHMER, Suzanne & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Patent breadth, patent life, and the pace of technological progress," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1314, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. V. V. Chari & Larry E. Jones, 1991. "A reconsideration of the problem of social cost: free riders and monopolists," Staff Report 142, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Llobet, G. & Hopenhayn, H. & Mitchell, M., 2000. "Rewarding Sequential Innovators: Prizes, Patents and Buyouts," Papers 0012, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  5. Green, J.R. & Scotchmer, S., 1993. "On the Division of Profit in Sequential Innovation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1638, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  6. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1996. "Protecting Early Innovators: Should Second-Generation Products Be Patentable?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 322-331, Summer.
  7. Gastón Llanes & Stefano Trento, 2009. "Anticommons and Optimal Patent Policy in a Model of Sequential Innovation," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-148, Harvard Business School.
  8. Howard F. Chang, 1995. "Patent Scope, Antitrust Policy, and Cumulative Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(1), pages 34-57, Spring.
  9. Flavio Menezes & Rohan Pitchford, 2004. "A model of seller holdout," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 231-253, August.
  10. Bengt Holmstrom, 1981. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Discussion Papers 471, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Efficient Patent Pools," NBER Working Papers 9175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
  13. Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2004. "The Economics of Ideas and Intellectual Property," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000631, David K. Levine.
  14. Steffen Brenner, 2009. "Optimal formation rules for patent pools," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 373-388, September.
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