Do Patent Pools Encourage Innovation? Evidence from the 19th-Century Sewing Machine Industry
Members of a patent pool agree to use a set of patents as if they were jointly owned by all members and license them as a package to other firms. Regulators favor pools as a means to encourage innovation: Pools are expected to reduce litigation risks for their members and lower license fees and transactions costs for other firms. This paper uses the example of the first patent pool in U.S. history, the Sewing Machine Combination (1856-1877) to perform the first empirical test of the effects of a patent pool on innovation. Contrary to theoretical predictions, the sewing machine pool appears to have discouraged patenting and innovation, in particular for the members of the pool. Data on stitches per minute, as an objectively quantifiable measure of innovation, confirm these findings. Innovation for both members and outside firms slowed as soon as the pool had been established and resumed only after it had dissolved.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as The Journal of Economic History, Volume 70, Issue 04, pp 898-920. December 2010|
|Note:||DAE LE PR|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lerner, Josh, 1995. "Patenting in the Shadow of Competitors," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 463-95, October.
- Bruno Versaevel & Vianney Dequiedt, 2007.
"Patent Pools and the Dynamic Incentives to R&D,"
0703, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
- Dequiedt, Vianney & Versaevel, Bruno, 2013.
"Patent pools and dynamic R&D incentives,"
International Review of Law and Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 59-69.
- Wesley M Cohen & Richard R Nelson & John P Walsh, 2003.
"Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (Or Not),"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
618897000000000624, David K. Levine.
- Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2000. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not)," NBER Working Papers 7552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15061. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.