The design of licensing contracts: Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, and Electrical Engineering in Imperial Germany
We investigate a sample of 180 technology licensing contracts closed by German chemical, pharmaceutical, and electrical engineering companies between 1880 and 1913. Our empirical results suggest that strategic behaviour seems to be relevant for the design of licensing contracts, whereas inventor moral hazard and risk aversion of licensor or licensee seem to be irrelevant. Moreover, our results suggest that uncertainty regarding the profitability of licensed technology influenced the design of licensing contracts. More specifically, profit sharing agreements or producer milestones were typically included into licensing contracts.
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