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The strategic use of fuzziness in patent specifications

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  • Zaby, Alexandra K.
  • Heger, Diana

Abstract

Innovators seek to protect their intellectual assets by patenting them, at the same time trying to avoid any disclosure of critical knowledge. Given that a patent specification has to include a clear description of the patented matter so that anybody skilled in the art is enabled to reproduce the invention, the non-disclosure intention seems contradictory to patent law. This paper provides a model identifying the incentives for firms to deliberately obscure their inventive knowledge in a patent specification.

Suggested Citation

  • Zaby, Alexandra K. & Heger, Diana, 2013. "The strategic use of fuzziness in patent specifications," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-043, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:13043
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bronwyn H. Hall & Dietmar Harhoff, 2012. "Recent Research on the Economics of Patents," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 541-565, July.
    2. Cohen, Wesley M. & Goto, Akira & Nagata, Akiya & Nelson, Richard R. & Walsh, John P., 2002. "R&D spillovers, patents and the incentives to innovate in Japan and the United States," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1349-1367, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    patent specification; disclosure requirement; strategic firm behavior; fuzzy patents;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory

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