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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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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/24007/1/MPRA_paper_24007.pdf
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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
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24007
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  1. Fershtman, C. & Kamien, M.I., 1991. "Cross Licensing of Complementary Technologies," Papers 1-91, Tel Aviv.
  2. 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.
  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. Graham, Stuart J.H. & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2006. "Can Post-Grant Reviews Improve Patent System Design? A Twin Study of US and European Patents," CEPR Discussion Papers 5680, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Georg Graevenitz & Stefan Wagner & Dietmar Harhoff, 2013. "Incidence and Growth of Patent Thickets: The Impact of Technological Opportunities and Complexity," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 521-563, 09.
  6. 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.
  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. 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.
  9. Tom Lee & Louis L. Wilde, 1980. "Market Structure and Innovation: A Reformulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(2), pages 429-436.
  10. Jaffe Adam B. & Lerner Josh, 2006. "Innovation and Its Discontents," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 1(3), pages 1-36, December.
  11. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, March.
  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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