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A Patentability Requirement For Sequential Innovation

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  • Ted O'Donoghue

Abstract

This paper investigates patent protection when there is a long sequence of innovations and firms repeatedly supersede each other. There can be insufficient incentives for R&D if successful firms earn market profit only until competitors achieve something better. To solve this problem, patents must provide protection against future innovators. This paper proposes using a patentability requirement aminimuminnovation size required to get a patent toserve this purpose. I showthat a patentability requirement can stimulate R&D investment and increase dynamic efficiency. Intuitively, requiring firms to pursue larger innovations can prolong market incumbency because larger innovations are harder to achieve. Longer market incumbency then implies an increased reward to innovation, stimulating R&D investment.

Suggested Citation

  • Ted O'Donoghue, 1997. "A Patentability Requirement For Sequential Innovation," Discussion Papers 1185, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1185
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    Cited by:

    1. Yang, Xuebing, 2013. "Horizontal inventive step and international protection of intellectual property," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 338-355.
    2. Gilbert, Richard J. & Katz, Michael L., 2011. "Efficient division of profits from complementary innovations," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 443-454, July.
    3. Prokop, Jacek & Regibeau, Pierre & Rockett, Katharine, 2010. "Minimum quality standards and novelty requirements in a one-short development race," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 4, pages 1-49.
    4. Comino, Stefano & Graziano, Clara, 2015. "How many patents does it take to signal innovation quality?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 66-79.
    5. Caillaud, Bernard & Duchêne, Anne, 2011. "Patent office in innovation policy: Nobody's perfect," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 242-252, March.
    6. Chen, Yongmin & Pan, Shiyuan & Zhang, Tianle, 2014. "(When) Do stronger patents increase continual innovation?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 115-124.
    7. Fershtman, Chaim & Markovich, Sarit, 2010. "Patents, imitation and licensing in an asymmetric dynamic R&D race," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 113-126, March.
    8. Angus Chu, 2009. "Effects of blocking patents on R&D: a quantitative DGE analysis," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 55-78, March.
    9. Rockett, Katharine, 2010. "Property Rights and Invention," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    10. Guido Cozzi & Silvia Galli, 2009. "Science-Based R&D In Schumpeterian Growth," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 56(s1), pages 474-491, September.
    11. Lu, Louis Y.Y. & Liu, John S., 2016. "A novel approach to identify the major research themes and development trajectory: The case of patenting research," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 71-82.
    12. Nadolnyak, Denis A. & Sheldon, Ian M., 2002. "A Model Of Development Of Agricultural Biotechnological Innovations: Patent Policy Analysis," 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA 19802, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    13. Christian Riis & Xianwen Shi, 2012. "Sequential Innovation and Optimal Patent Design," Working Papers tecipa-447, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    14. Jaffe, Adam B., 2000. "The U.S. patent system in transition: policy innovation and the innovation process," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 531-557, April.
    15. Robert M. Hunt, 1999. "Nonobviousness and the incentive to innovate: an economic analysis of intellectual property reform," Working Papers 99-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    16. Ghosh, Arghya & Kato, Takao & Morita, Hodika, 2007. "Discrete Innovation, Continuous Improvement, and Competitive Pressure," Working Papers 104-27, Department of Economics, Colgate University.
    17. Picard, Pierre M. & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2013. "Patent office governance and patent examination quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 14-25.
    18. Robert M. Hunt, 1999. "Patent reform: a mixed blessing for the U.S. economy?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Nov, pages 15-29.

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