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Sleeping Patents and Computsory Licensing: An Options Analysis

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  • Weeds, H.

Abstract

Why should a firm wish to create a new technology that it will leave unexploited for some time? Sleeping patents have long been perceived as anticompetitive devices, used by dominant firms to block entry into their market. In a real options framework with both economic and technological uncertainty, we show that a sleeping patent may arise as the result of optimal forward-looking behavior, in the absence of any anticompetitive motive. We also consider the effect of possible measures to enforce the development of sleeping patents and find that these are likely to harm incentives for firms to engage in research.

Suggested Citation

  • Weeds, H., 1999. "Sleeping Patents and Computsory Licensing: An Options Analysis," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 577, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:577
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    File URL: https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2008/twerp577.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pindyck, Robert S., 1993. "Investments of uncertain cost," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 53-76, August.
    2. Bar-Ilan, Avner & Strange, William C., 1998. "A model of sequential investment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 437-463, March.
    3. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 5474.
    4. Robert McDonald & Daniel Siegel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-727.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Murto, Pauli & Nasakkala, Erkka & Keppo, Jussi, 2004. "Timing of investments in oligopoly under uncertainty: A framework for numerical analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 157(2), pages 486-500, September.
    2. Flavia Cortelezzi & Pierpaolo Giannoccolo & Giovanni Villani, 2011. "Strategic Urban Development Under Uncertainty," The IUP Journal of Financial Economics, IUP Publications, vol. 0(4), pages 7-27, December.
    3. Giovanni Villani, 2008. "An R&D Investment Game under Uncertainty in Real Option Analysis," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 199-219, September.
    4. Chi Leung & Yue Kwok, 2011. "Real options game analysis of sleeping patents," Decisions in Economics and Finance, Springer;Associazione per la Matematica, vol. 34(1), pages 41-65, May.
    5. Keppo, Jussi & Lu, Hao, 2003. "Real options and a large producer: the case of electricity markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 459-472, September.
    6. Flavia Cortelezzi & Giovanni Villani, 2007. "Strategic Technology Adoption and Market Dynamics as Option Games," Quaderni DSEMS 14-2007, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Matematiche e Statistiche, Universita' di Foggia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ; TECHNOLOGY ; MARKET;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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