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Would global patent protection be too weak without international coordination?

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  • Edwin L.-C. Lai

    (Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA)

Abstract

I extend the Grossman and Lai (2004) model to answer the question, "Would global patent protection be too weak without international coordination?" by introducing firmbiased government preferences and trade barriers in the model. I make use of the estimates of the firm-bias parameter from the political economy literature to proxy for the degree of governments' firm-bias. Then I calculate the range of trade barriers that is sufficient to give rise to under-protection of patents in the global system without international policy coordination in IPR protection. I make the judgement that the true trade barrier between countries very likely falls within this range of under-protection. Therefore, I conclude that there was probably under-protection of patents without international policy coordination in IPR protection. It means that the free-rider problem with a large number of independent players overrides the effects of firm-bias and trade barriers, giving rise to too low a rate of innovation in the world. Allowing for the possibility that countries discriminate against foreign firms in Nash equilibrium does not change this conclusion. The problem can possibly be corrected by international coordination in intellectual property rights (IPR) protection.

Suggested Citation

  • Edwin L.-C. Lai, 2005. "Would global patent protection be too weak without international coordination?," Discussion Paper Series 226, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, revised Aug 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:kob:dpaper:226
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    File URL: http://www.rieb.kobe-u.ac.jp/academic/ra/dp/English/dp226.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ming Liu & Sumner la Croix, 2013. "A Cross-Country Index of Intellectual Property Rights in Pharmaceutical Innovations," Working Papers 201313, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    2. Wu, Tommy T., 2015. "Firm heterogeneity, trade, multinationals, and growth: A quantitative evaluation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 359-375.
    3. Kamal Saggi, 2016. "Trade, Intellectual Property Rights, and the World Trade Organization," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 16-00014, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    4. Geng, Difei & Saggi, Kamal, 2015. "Is there a case for non-discrimination in the international protection of intellectual property?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 14-28.
    5. Briggs, Kristie, 2013. "Does patent harmonization impact the decision and volume of high technology trade?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 35-51.
    6. Difei Geng & Kamal Saggi, 2013. "The case for non-discrimination in the international protection of intellectual property," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 13-00017, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intellectual property rights; TRIPS; Innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • 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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