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Is Silence Golden? Patents versus Secrecy at the Firm Level

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  • Hussinger, Katrin

Abstract

In the 1990s, patenting schemes changed in many respects: upcoming new technologies accelerated the shift from price competition towards competition based on technical inventions, a worldwide surge in patenting took place, and the ?patent thicket? arose as a consequence of strategic patenting. This study analyzes the importance of patenting versus secrecy as an effective alternative to protect intellectual property in the inventions? market phase. The sales figure with new products is introduced as a new measure for the importance of IP protection tools among product innovating firms. Focusing on the German manufacturing in 2000, it turns out that patents are important to protect intellectual property in the market, whereas secrecy seems to be rather important for early-stage inventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Hussinger, Katrin, 2004. "Is Silence Golden? Patents versus Secrecy at the Firm Level," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-78, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:2883
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Crass, Dirk & Garcia Valero, Francisco & Pitton, Francesco & Rammer, Christian, 2016. "Protecting innovation through patents and trade secrets: Determinants and performance impacts for firms with a single innovation," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-061, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Catherine Beaudry, 2011. "Collaboration and contracting out versus funding and support Impact on the propensity to patent of Canadian biotechnology firms 1999-2005," CIRANO Working Papers 2011s-62, CIRANO.
    3. repec:eee:tefoso:v:123:y:2017:i:c:p:181-190 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Delerue, Hélène & Lejeune, Albert, 2011. "Managerial secrecy and intellectual asset protection in SMEs: The role of institutional environment," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 130-142, June.
    5. repec:wsi:ijimxx:v:21:y:2017:i:03:n:s1363919617500232 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Bronwyn H. Hall & Christian Helmers & Mark Rogers & Vania Sena, 2013. "The importance (or not) of patents to UK firms," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(3), pages 603-629, July.
    7. Bronwyn Hall & Christian Helmers & Mark Rogers & Vania Sena, 2014. "The Choice between Formal and Informal Intellectual Property: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(2), pages 375-423, June.
    8. Gallié, Emilie-Pauline & Legros, Diégo, 2012. "French firms’ strategies for protecting their intellectual property," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 780-794.
    9. Cristiano Antonelli & Morris Teubal, 2010. "Venture Capitalism as a Mechanism for Knowledge Governance," Chapters,in: The Capitalization of Knowledge, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Antonelli, Cristiano & Teubal, Morris, 2008. "Venture Capital as a Mechanism for Knowledge Governance: New Markets and Innovation-Led Economic Growth," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200805, University of Turin.
    11. Bos, Brenda & Broekhuizen, Thijs L.J. & de Faria, Pedro, 2015. "A dynamic view on secrecy management," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(12), pages 2619-2627.
    12. Paul Belleflamme & Paul Bloch, 2013. "Dynamic Protection of Innovations through Patents and Trade Secrets," CESifo Working Paper Series 4486, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Blind, Knut & Cremers, Katrin & Mueller, Elisabeth, 2009. "The influence of strategic patenting on companies' patent portfolios," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 428-436, March.
    14. Antonio Della Malva & Enrico Santarelli, 2016. "Intellectual property rights, distance to the frontier, and R&D: evidence from microdata," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 6(1), pages 1-24, April.
    15. Matthias Siller & Christoph Hauser & Janette Walde & Gottfried Tappeiner, 2015. "Measuring regional innovation in one dimension: More lost than gained?," Working Papers 2015-14, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    16. Malte Mosel, 2012. "The role of patents and secrecy for intellectual property protection: theory and evidence," Working Papers 117, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    17. repec:nsr:niesrd:410 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. AndreÌ s LoÌ pez & Eugenia Orlicki, 2009. "Who Uses the Patent System in Developing Countries? A Study of Patent Propensities in Argentina, 1992-2001," Microeconomics Working Papers 22785, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    19. Buss, Philipp & Peukert, Christian, 2015. "R&D outsourcing and intellectual property infringement," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 977-989.
    20. Patrick Beschorner, 2008. "Optimal patent length and height," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 233-240, July.
    21. Amara, Nabil & Landry, Réjean & Traoré, Namatié, 2008. "Managing the protection of innovations in knowledge-intensive business services," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1530-1547, October.
    22. Blind, Knut & Edler, Jakob & Frietsch, Rainer & Schmoch, Ulrich, 2006. "Motives to patent: Empirical evidence from Germany," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 655-672, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation; Appropriation; Patents; Secrecy;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • C34 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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