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Jostling for Advantage: Licensing and Entry into Patent Portfolio Races

  • Siebert, Ralph
  • Graevenitz, Georg von

Licensing in a patent thicket allows firms to either avoid or resolve hold-up. Firms' R&D incentives depend on whether they license ex ante or ex post. We develop a model of a patent portfolio race, which allows for endogenous R&D efforts, to study firms' choice between ex ante and ex post licensing. The model shows that firms' relationships in product markets and technology space jointly determine the type of licensing contract chosen. In particular, product market competitors are more likely to avoid patent portfolio races, since the threat of hold-up increases. On the other hand, more valuable technologies are more likely to give rise to patent portfolio races. We also discuss the welfare implications of these results.

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Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 184.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:184
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  1. Carl Shapiro, 2004. "Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools and Standard Setting," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000539, David K. Levine.
  2. Glenn C. Loury, 1976. "Market Structure and Innovation," Discussion Papers 256, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Siebert, Ralph & von Graevenitz, Georg, 2006. "How Licensing Resolves Hold-Up: Evidence from a Dynamic Panel Data Model with Unobserved Heterogeneity," CEPR Discussion Papers 5436, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Anand, Bharat N & Khanna, Tarun, 2000. "The Structure of Licensing Contracts," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 103-35, March.
  5. Beath, John & Katsoulacos, Yannis & Ulph, David, 1988. "Strategic R&D Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 276, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Baye, Michael R. & Hoppe, Heidrun C., 2003. "The strategic equivalence of rent-seeking, innovation, and patent-race games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 217-226, August.
  7. Nti, Kofi O, 1997. "Comparative Statics of Contests and Rent-Seeking Games," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(1), pages 43-59, February.
  8. Katsoulacos, Yannis & Ulph, David, 1998. "Endogenous Spillovers and the Performance of Research Joint Ventures," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 333-57, September.
  9. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2004. "Exploring the Patent Explosion," NBER Working Papers 10605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Reinganum, Jennifer F., 1989. "The timing of innovation: Research, development, and diffusion," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 849-908 Elsevier.
  11. Johannes Hörner, 2004. "A Perpetual Race to Stay Ahead," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 1064-1088, October.
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