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Patent Pools and Product Development

  • Thomas Jeitschko

    (Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Economics, Michigan State University)

  • Nanyun Zhang

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Towson University)

The conventional wisdom is that the formation of patent pools is welfare enhancing when patents are complementary, since the pool avoids a double-marginalization problem associated with independent licensing. The focus of this paper is on (downstream) product development and commercialization on the basis of perfectly complementary patents. We consider development technologies that entail spillovers between rivals, and assume that nal demand products are imperfect substitutes. If pool formation either increases spillovers in development or decreases the degree of product di erentiation, pool formation can actually adversely a ect overall welfare by reducing incentives towards product development and product market competition|even with perfectly complementary patents. This significantly modifies and possibly even negates the conventional wisdom for many settings. The paper provides insights into why patent pools are uncommon in science-based industries such as biotech, despite there being strong policy advocacy for them.

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File URL: http://www.towson.edu/cbe/economics/workingpapers/2011-02.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Towson University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2011-02.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision: Feb 2011
Handle: RePEc:tow:wpaper:2011-02
Contact details of provider: Postal: Towson, Maryland 21252-0001
Phone: 410-704-2959
Fax: 410-704-3424
Web page: http://www.towson.edu/cbe/economics/

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  1. Choi, Jay Pil, 1993. "Cooperative R&D with product market competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 553-571.
  2. Jay Pil Choi, 2009. "Patent Pools and Cross-Licensing in the Shadow of Patent Litigation," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd08-044, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  3. Nisvan Erkal & Deborah Minehart, 2007. "Optimal Sharing Strategies in Dynamic Games of Research and Development," EAG Discussions Papers 200707, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
  4. Bourreau, Marc & Dogan, Pinar, 2010. "Cooperation in Product Development and Process R&D Between Competitors," Scholarly Articles 4863170, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  5. Russell Pittman, 2007. "Consumer Surplus as the Appropriate Standard for Antitrust Enforcement," EAG Discussions Papers 200709, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
  6. Sung-Hwan Kim, 2004. "Vertical Structure and Patent Pools," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 231-250, 07.
  7. María José Gil Moltó & Nikolaos Georgantzís & Vicente Orts, 2005. "Cooperative R&D with Endogenous Technology Differentiation," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 461-476, 06.
  8. Nirvikar Singh & Xavier Vives, 1984. "Price and Quantity Competition in a Differentiated Duopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 546-554, Winter.
  9. Lin, Ping & Saggi, Kamal, 2002. "Product differentiation, process R&D, and the nature of market competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 201-211, January.
  10. Kamien, Morton I & Muller, Eitan & Zang, Israel, 1992. "Research Joint Ventures and R&D Cartels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1293-306, December.
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