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How Valuable is Patent Protection? Estimates By Technology Field Using Patent Renewal Data

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  • Mark Schankerman

Abstract

This paper presents quantitative estimates of the private value of property rights conferred by patent protection for different technology fields and countries of ownership. The measures are derived from parametric estimation of a model of patent renewal, using a new data set on patent renewals in France during the period 1969-1987. The results show that patent protection is a significant, but not the major, source of private returns to inventive activity and that its importance varies sharply across technology fields. The paper quantifies the equivalent subsidy to R&D generated by the patent system, characterizes variations in the value of patent rights across technology fields, countries of ownership and time, and explores the determinants of those differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Schankerman, 1991. "How Valuable is Patent Protection? Estimates By Technology Field Using Patent Renewal Data," NBER Working Papers 3780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3780
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    1. Pakes, Ariel S, 1986. "Patents as Options: Some Estimates of the Value of Holding European Patent Stocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 755-784, July.
    2. Bronwyn H. Hall & Zvi Griliches & Jerry A. Hausman, 1984. "Patents and R&D: Is There A Lag?," NBER Working Papers 1454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Mansfield, Edwin & Schwartz, Mark & Wagner, Samuel, 1981. "Imitation Costs and Patents: An Empirical Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(364), pages 907-918, December.
    4. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3, Specia), pages 783-832.
    5. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1988. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial R&D," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 862, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    6. Ariel Pakes & Mark Schankerman, 1984. "The Rate of Obsolescence of Patents, Research Gestation Lags, and the Private Rate of Return to Research Resources," NBER Chapters,in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 73-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2015. "Leaders and followers: Perspectives on the Nordic model and the economics of innovation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 3-16.
    2. Gupeng, Zhang & Xiangdong, Chen, 2012. "The value of invention patents in China: Country origin and technology field differences," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 357-370.
    3. Gould, David M. & Gruben, William C., 1996. "The role of intellectual property rights in economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 323-350, March.
    4. Vives, Xavier, 2004. "Innovation and Competitive Pressure," CEPR Discussion Papers 4369, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Baldwin, John R. & Hanel, Peter & Sabourin, David, 2000. "Determinants of Innovative Activity in Canadian Manufacturing Firms: The Role of Intellectual Property Rights," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2000122e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    6. M. Ishaq Nadiri, 1993. "Innovations and Technological Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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