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Runner-up patents: is monopoly inevitable?

  • Emeric Henry

    (Département d'économie)

Exclusive patents sacrifice product competition to provide firms incentives to innovate. We characterize an alternative mechanism whereby later inventors are allowed to share the patent if they discover within a certain time period of the first inventor. These runner-up patents increase social welfare under very general conditions. Furthermore, we show that the time window during which later inventors can share the patent should become a new policy tool at the disposal of the designer. This instrument will be used in a socially optimal mix with the breadth and length of the patent and could allow sorting between more or less efficient firms.

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File URL: http://spire.sciencespo.fr/hdl:/2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g8gjo2i2i/resources/runner-up-patents.pdf
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Paper provided by Sciences Po in its series Sciences Po publications with number info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g8gjo2i2i.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Publication status: Published in The Scandinavian journal of economics, 2010, vol. 112, pp.417-441
Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g8gjo2i2i
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  1. Petra Moser, 2003. "How Do Patent Laws Influence Innovation? Evidence from Nineteenth-Century World Fairs," NBER Working Papers 9909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Mitchell, Matthew F, 2001. "Innovation Variety and Patent Breadth," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 152-66, Spring.
  3. Klemperer, Paul, 1990. "How Broad Should the Scope of Patent Protection Be?," CEPR Discussion Papers 392, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Stephen M Maurer & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2003. "The Independent Invention Defense in Intellectual Property," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000544, David K. Levine.
  5. Vincenzo Denicolo & Luigi A. Franzoni, 2010. "On the Winner-Take-All Principle in Innovation Races," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(5), pages 1133-1158, 09.
  6. La Manna, Manfredi & Macleod, Ross & de Meza, David, 1989. "The case for permissive patents," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1427-1443, September.
  7. Szymanski, Stefan & Valletti, Tommaso M., 2005. "Incentive effects of second prizes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 467-481, June.
  8. Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela, 2001. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 542-558, 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. Loury, Glenn C, 1979. "Market Structure and Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 395-410, August.
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