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Intellectual Property Clearinghouses: The Effects of Reduced Transaction Costs in Licensing

  • Aoki, Reiko
  • Schiff, Aaron

We focus on downstream uses that combine multiple intellectual property rights and examine the effects of introducing an intellectual property clearinghouse that reduces transaction costs associated with licensing. We show that this causes equilibrium royalties to rise in some cases and may harm licensors because clearinghouse by itself does not eliminate the 'tragedy of the anticommons'. Downstream welfare effects may also be positive or negative and we characterise the effects on downstream manufacturers and final consumers. We also show that total welfare is most likely to increase following a transaction cost reduction when the number of intellectual property rights per downstream use is small, or if rights are relatively substitutable in downstream use, but it is also possible for welfare to decrease.

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File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/14655/1/pie_dp335.pdf
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Paper provided by Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series PIE/CIS Discussion Paper with number 335.

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Length: 24 p.
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hit:piecis:335
Note: 30 June 2007
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  1. Kleit, Andrew N, 2000. "ASCAP Versus BMI (Versus CBS): Modeling Competition between and Bundling by Performance Rights Organizations," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(4), pages 579-90, October.
  2. Aoki, Reiko & Schiff, Aaron, 2007. "Promoting Access to Intellectual Property: Patent Pools, Copyright Collectives and Clearinghouses," PIE/CIS Discussion Paper 334, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  3. Carl Shapiro, 2003. "Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard-Setting," Law and Economics 0303005, EconWPA.
  4. Hollander, Abraham, 1984. "Market structure and performance in intellectual property : The case of copyright collectives," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 199-216, September.
  5. Athreye, Suma & Cantwell, John, 2007. "Creating competition?: Globalisation and the emergence of new technology producers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 209-226, March.
  6. Arora, Ashish & Fosfuri, Andrea, 1999. "Licensing the Market for Technology," CEPR Discussion Papers 2284, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Nancy T. Gallini & Brian D. Wright, 1990. "Technology Transfer under Asymmetric Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 147-160, Spring.
  8. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2004. "Efficient Patent Pools," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 691-711, June.
  9. Buchanan, James M & Yoon, Yong J, 2000. "Symmetric Tragedies: Commons and Anticommons," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 1-13, April.
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