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Licensing in the Patent Thicket - Timing and Benefits

  • Siebert, Ralph Bernd
  • Graevenitz, Georg von

Licensing can be a solution for hold-up in patent thickets. In this paper we study whether licensing is an effective solution for hold-up. To do this we distinguish between ex ante and ex post licensing. A theoretical model shows that firms’ expectations of blocking in a patent thicket determine whether they license ex ante while ex post licensing arises if expected blocking was low but realized blocking turns out to be high. It can also be shown that ex ante licensing will allow firms to reduce their patenting efforts. A sample selection model of licensing is derived from the theoretical model. Applying this to data from the semiconductor industry we show that licensing does help firms to resolve blocking. However, the probability of observing licensing decreases as fragmentation of property rights increases and arises mainly between large firms with similar market shares. Licensing experience is also an important determinant of licensing. As expected ex ante licensing allows firms to reduce the level of patenting.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 24007.

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Date of creation: 15 Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24007
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  1. 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.
  2. Alberto Galasso, 2007. "Broad Cross-License Agreements andPersuasive Patent Litigation: Theory andEvidence from the Semiconductor Industry," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 45, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  3. Derek J. Clark & Kai A. Konrad, 2008. "Fragmented Property Rights and Incentives for R& D," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(5), pages 969-981, May.
  4. repec:oup:qjecon:v:94:y:1980:i:2:p:429-36 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, June.
  6. Jaffe Adam B. & Lerner Josh, 2006. "Innovation and Its Discontents," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 1(3), pages 1-36, December.
  7. J. Myles Shaver, 1998. "Accounting for Endogeneity When Assessing Strategy Performance: Does Entry Mode Choice Affect FDI Survival?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(4), pages 571-585, April.
  8. Chaim Fershtman & Morton I. Kamien, 1990. "Cross Licensing of Complementary Technologies," Discussion Papers 866, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Graham, Stuart J.H. & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2006. "Can Post-Grant Reviews Improve Patent System Design? A Twin Study of US and European Patents," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 38, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  10. Graevenitz, Georg von & Wagner, Stefan & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2011. "Incidence and Growth of Patent Thickets - The Impact of Technological Opportunities and Complexity," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 356, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  11. Albert, M. B. & Avery, D. & Narin, F. & McAllister, P., 1991. "Direct validation of citation counts as indicators of industrially important patents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 251-259, June.
  12. Anand, Bharat N & Khanna, Tarun, 2000. "The Structure of Licensing Contracts," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 103-35, March.
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