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Innovation Fertility and Patent Design

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  • Hugo A. Hopenhayn
  • Matthew F. Mitchell

Abstract

It may be advantageous to provide a variety of kinds of patent protection to heterogenous innovations. Innovations which benefit society largely through their use as building blocks to future inventions may require a different scope of protection in order to be encouraged. We model the problem of designing an optimal patent menu (scope and length) when the fertility of an innovation in generating more innovations cannot be observed. The menu of patent scope can be implemented with mandated buyout fees. Evidence of heterogeneous fertility and patent obsolescence, keys to the model, are presented using patent data from the US.

Suggested Citation

  • Hugo A. Hopenhayn & Matthew F. Mitchell, 1999. "Innovation Fertility and Patent Design," NBER Working Papers 7070, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7070 Note: PR
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul Klemperer, 1990. "How Broad Should the Scope of Patent Protection Be?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, pages 113-130.
    2. Nancy T. Gallini, 1992. "Patent Policy and Costly Imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, pages 52-63.
    3. Richard Gilbert & Carl Shapiro, 1990. "Optimal Patent Length and Breadth," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, pages 106-112.
    4. 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.
    5. Ted O'Donoghue & Suzanne Scotchmer & Jacques-François Thisse, 1998. "Patent Breadth, Patent Life, and the Pace of Technological Progress," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, pages 1-32.
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    Cited by:

    1. Louise Keely, 2001. "Using Patents In Growth Models," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(6), pages 449-492.
    2. Nancy Gallini & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2002. "Intellectual Property: When Is It the Best Incentive System?," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 2, pages 51-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Maurer, Stephen M & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 2002. "The Independent Invention Defence in Intellectual Property," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(276), pages 535-547, November.
    4. Jaffe, Adam B., 2000. "The U.S. patent system in transition: policy innovation and the innovation process," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 531-557.
    5. Palomeras, Neus, 2003. "Sleeping patents: any reason to wake up?," IESE Research Papers D/506, IESE Business School.
    6. Samuel Kortum, 2004. "An R&D Roundtable," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 349-363.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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