Implications of Product Patents : Lessons from Japan
Product (material) patents were introduced to Japan in 1976. We examine data prior to 1976 and years immediately following to determine the law's effect on domestic pharmaceutical market, innovation by pharmaceutical firms, and relationship of the Japanese market to the rest of the world. There is evidence that the domestic market became more concentrated and quality of pharmaceutical innovation changed after the introduction. This is because introduction of product patents is different from simple strengthening of existing technology protection such as increasing breadth.
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