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Fences and competition in patent races

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  • Schneider, Cédric

Abstract

This paper studies the behaviour of firms facing the decision to create a patent fence, defined as a portfolio of substitute patents. We set up a patent race model, where firms can decide either to patent their inventions, or to rely on secrecy. It is shown that firms build patent fences, when the duopoly profits net of R&D costs are positive. We also demonstrate that in this context, a firm will rely on secrecy when the speed of discovery of the subsequent invention is high compared to the competitor�s. Furthermore, we compare the model under the First-to-Invent and First-to-File legal rules. Finally, we analyze the welfare implications of patent fence

Suggested Citation

  • Schneider, Cédric, 2005. "Fences and competition in patent races," MPRA Paper 2087, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2087
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kortum, Samuel & Lerner, Josh, 1998. "Stronger protection or technological revolution: what is behind the recent surge in patenting?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 247-304, June.
    2. Suzanne Scotchmer & Jerry Green, 1990. "Novelty and Disclosure in Patent Law," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 131-146, Spring.
    3. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2005. "Exploring the Patent Explosion," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(2_2), pages 35-48, January.
    4. Corinne Langinier, 2005. "Using patents to mislead rivals," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 520-545, May.
    5. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2004. "Efficient Patent Pools," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 691-711, June.
    6. Nancy T. Gallini, 1992. "Patent Policy and Costly Imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(1), pages 52-63, Spring.
    7. Jensen, Richard & Thursby, Marie, 1996. "Patent Races, Product Standards, and International Competition," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(1), pages 21-49, February.
    8. Carl Shapiro, 2001. "Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard Setting," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 1, pages 119-150 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Bronwyn H. Hall & Stuart Graham & Dietmar Harhoff & David C. Mowery, 2004. "Prospects for Improving U.S. Patent Quality via Postgrant Opposition," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 4, pages 115-144 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. 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.
    11. Mansfield, Edwin, 1985. "How Rapidly Does New Industrial Technology Leak Out?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 217-223, December.
    12. James J. Anton & Dennis A. Yao, 2004. "Little Patents and Big Secrets: Managing Intellectual Property," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(1), pages 1-22, Spring.
    13. Nancy T. Gallini, 2002. "The Economics of Patents: Lessons from Recent U.S. Patent Reform," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 131-154, Spring.
    14. Denicolo, Vincenzo, 1996. "Patent Races and Optimal Patent Breadth and Length," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 249-265, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Crass, Dirk & Garcia Valero, Francisco & Pitton, Francesco & Rammer, Christian, 2016. "Protecting innovation through patents and trade secrets: Determinants and performance impacts for firms with a single innovation," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-061, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. repec:eee:tefoso:v:123:y:2017:i:c:p:181-190 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bart Leten & Rene Belderbos & Bart Van Looy, 2016. "Entry and Technological Performance in New Technology Domains: Technological Opportunities, Technology Competition and Technological Relatedness," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(8), pages 1257-1291, December.
    4. Illoong Kwon, 2012. "Patent Thicket, Secrecy, and Licensing," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 28, pages 27-49.
    5. Grimpe, Christoph & Hussinger, Katrin, 2008. "Building and Blocking: The Two Faces of Technology Acquisition," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-042, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. BELLELFLAMME, Paul & BLOCH , Francis & ,, 2013. "Dynamic protection of innovations through patents and trade secrets," CORE Discussion Papers 2013059, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    7. Grimpe, Christoph & Hussinger, Katrin, 2014. "Pre-empted patents, infringed patents and firms’ participation in markets for technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 543-554.
    8. Bronwyn Hall & Christian Helmers & Mark Rogers & Vania Sena, 2014. "The Choice between Formal and Informal Intellectual Property: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(2), pages 375-423, June.
    9. Sheng, Li, 2010. "Competing or cooperating to host mega events: A simple model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 375-379, January.
    10. Grimpe, Christoph & Hussinger, Katrin, 2009. "Inventions under siege? The impact of technology competition on licensing," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-039, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    11. Bronwyn H. Hall & Christian Helmers & Mark Rogers & Vania Sena, 2012. "The Choice between Formal and Informal Intellectual Property: A Literature Review," NBER Working Papers 17983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. repec:eee:tefoso:v:120:y:2017:i:c:p:24-31 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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