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Shared Rights and Technological Progress

  • Mitchell, Matthew
  • Zhang, Yuzhe

We study how best to reward innovators whose work builds on earlier innovations. Incentives to innovate are obtained by offering innovators the opportunity to profit from their innovations. Since innovations compete, awarding rights to one innovator reduces the value of the rights to prior innovators. We show that the optimal allocation involves shared rights, where more than one innovator is promised a share of profits from a given innovation. We interpret such allocations in three ways: as patents that infringe on prior art, as licensing through an optimally designed ever-growing patent pool, and as randomization through litigation. We contrast the rate of technological progress under the optimal allocation with the outcome if sharing is prohibitively costly, and therefore must be avoided. Avoiding sharing initially slows progress, and leads to a more variable rate of technological progress.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 36537.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:36537
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  8. Lemley, Mark A. & Shapiro, Carl, 2004. "Probabilistic Patents," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt9xf1488p, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  9. O'DONOGHUE, Ted & SCOTCHMER, Suzanne & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Patent breadth, patent life, and the pace of technological progress," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1314, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. Choi, J.P., 1997. "Patent Litigation as an Information Transmission Mechanism," Discussion Paper 1997-17, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. Adam B. Jaffe & Josh Lerner & Scott Stern, 2008. "Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 8," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number jaff08-1.
  12. Reiko Aoki & Jin-Li Hu, 1999. "Licensing vs. Litigation: The Effect of the Legal System on Incentives to Innovate," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(1), pages 133-160, 03.
  13. Hugo Hopenhayn & Gerard Llobet & Matthew Mitchell, 2006. "Rewarding Sequential Innovators: Prizes, Patents, and Buyouts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(6), pages 1041-1068, December.
  14. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2004. "Efficient Patent Pools," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 691-711, June.
  15. Lerner, Josh & Strojwas, Marcin & Tirole, Jean, 2005. "The Design of Patent Pools: The Determinants of Licensing Rules," IDEI Working Papers 187, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  16. Sugato Bhattacharyya & Francine Lafontaine, 1995. "Double-Sided Moral Hazard and the Nature of Share Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 761-781, Winter.
  17. Chari, V.V. & Golosov, Mikhail & Tsyvinski, Aleh, 2012. "Prizes and patents: Using market signals to provide incentives for innovations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 781-801.
  18. Michael J. Meurer, 1989. "The Settlement of Patent Litigation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(1), pages 77-91, Spring.
  19. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1999. "On the Optimality of the Patent Renewal System," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 181-196, Summer.
  20. Carl Shapiro, 2003. "Antitrust Limits to Patent Settlements," Law and Economics 0303004, EconWPA.
  21. Hugo Hopenhayn & Matthew Mitchell, 2012. "Rewarding Duopoly Innovators: The Price of Exclusivity," NBER Chapters, in: Standards, Patents and Innovations National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Henry, Emeric, 2010. "Promising the right prize," CEPR Discussion Papers 7758, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  24. Barry Nalebuff, 1987. "Credible Pretrial Negotiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 198-210, Summer.
  25. Bagnoli, M. & Bergstrom, T., 1989. "Log-Concave Probability And Its Applications," Papers 89-23, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
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