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Fences and competition in patent races

  • Schneider, Cédric

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

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 2087.

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Date of creation: 02 Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2087
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  1. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Graham, Stuart J. H. & Harhoff, Dietmar & Mowery, David C., 2003. "Prospects for Improving U.S. Patent Quality via Post-grant Opposition," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8fg5b6bs, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2004. "Exploring the Patent Explosion," NBER Working Papers 10605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Carl Shapiro, 2004. "Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools and Standard Setting," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000539, David K. Levine.
  4. Langinier, Corinne, 2005. "Using Patents to Mislead Rivals," Staff General Research Papers Archive 11483, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2004. "Efficient Patent Pools," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 691-711, June.
  6. Mansfield, Edwin, 1985. "How Rapidly Does New Industrial Technology Leak Out?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 217-23, December.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Denicolo, Vincenzo, 1996. "Patent Races and Optimal Patent Breadth and Length," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 249-65, September.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Jensen, R. & Thursby, M., 1994. "Patent Races, Product Standards, and International Competition," Papers 94-015, Purdue University, Krannert School of Management - Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).
  13. 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.
  14. Nancy T. Gallini, 1992. "Patent Policy and Costly Imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(1), pages 52-63, Spring.
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