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Adverse effects of patent pooling on product development and commercialization

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  • Jeitschko, Thomas D.
  • Zhang, Nanyun

Abstract

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. This conventional wisdom relies on the effects that pooling has on downstream prices. However, it does not account for the potentially significant role of the effect of pooling on downstream innovation. 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 final demand products are imperfect substitutes. When pool formation facilitates information sharing and either increases spillovers in development or decreases the degree of product differentiation, patent pools can adversely affect welfare by reducing the incentives towards product development and product market competition|even with perfectly complementary patents. The analysis modifies and even negates the conventional wisdom for some settings and suggests why patent pools are uncommon in science-based industries such as biotech and pharmaceuticals that are characterized by tacit knowledge and incomplete patents.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeitschko, Thomas D. & Zhang, Nanyun, 2013. "Adverse effects of patent pooling on product development and commercialization," DICE Discussion Papers 92, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:92
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ishihara, Akifumi & Yanagawa, Noriyuki, 2018. "Dark sides of patent pools with independent licensing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 1-34.
    2. Thomas D. Jeitschko & Yeonjei Jung & Jaesoo Kim, 2017. "Bundling and joint marketing by rival firms," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(3), pages 571-589, September.
    3. Nancy Gallini, 2017. "Do patents work? Thickets, trolls and antibiotic resistance," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(4), pages 893-926, November.
    4. Dequiedt, Vianney & Versaevel, Bruno, 2013. "Patent pools and dynamic R&D incentives," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 59-69.
    5. Justus Baron & Henry Delcamp, 2015. "The strategies of patent introduction into patent pools," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(8), pages 776-800, November.
    6. Ryan L. Lampe & Petra Moser, 2012. "Do Patent Pools Encourage Innovation? Evidence from 20 U.S. Industries under the New Deal," NBER Working Papers 18316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Delcamp, Henry, 2015. "Are patent pools a way to help patent owners enforce their rights?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 68-76.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Patent Pools; Research and Development; Innovation; Tacit Knowledge; BioTechnology; Pharmaceutical;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies
    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing

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