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Patent Thickets, Licensing and Innovative Performance

  • Müller, Elisabeth
  • MacGarvie, Megan J.
  • Cockburn, Iain M.

We examine the relationship between fragmented intellectual property (IP) rights and innovative performance, taking into consideration the role played by in-licensing of IP. Controlling for a variety of firm and market characteristics, we find that firms facing more fragmented IP landscapes are more likely to report expenditures on in-licensing and for those firms that do incur license costs we find a weak positive association between licensing expenditure and fragmented IP rights in the relevant technology. We also observe a negative relationship between IP fragmentation and innovative performance, but only for firms that engage in in-licensing and only for product innovation. The relationship between fragmentation and innovative performance also depends on the size of a firm's patent portfolio, which suggests an important strategic role for defensive patenting in the context of fragmented property rights.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 08-101.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7475
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  1. James Bessen & Robert M. Hunt, 2004. "An empirical look at software patents," Working Papers 03-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. Joshua Gans & Scott Stern, 2003. "When does funding research by smaller firms bear fruit?: Evidence from the SBIR program," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 361-384.
  3. James Bessen & Eric Maskin, 2009. "Sequential innovation, patents, and imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(4), pages 611-635.
  4. Alberto Galasso & Mark Schankerman, 2008. "Patent Thickets and the Market for Innovation: Evidence from Settlement of Patent Disputes," CEP Discussion Papers dp0889, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Adam B. Jaffe & Josh Lerner & Scott Stern, 2001. "Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 1," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number jaff01-1, October.
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  7. 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.
  8. Mueller, Elisabeth & Harhoff, Dietmar & Haeussler, Carolin, 2009. "To Be Financed or Not : The Role of Patents for Venture Capital Financing," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-003, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  9. Carl Shapiro, 2001. "Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard Setting," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 1, pages 119-150 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Joshua S. Gans & David H. Hsu & Scott Stern, 2000. "When Does Start-Up Innovation Spur the Gale of Creative Destruction?," NBER Working Papers 7851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. A. Jorge Padilla & Damien Geradin & Anne Layne-Farrar, 2007. "Royalty Stacking In High Tech Industries: Separating Myth From Reality," Working Papers wp2007_0701, CEMFI.
  12. Bruno Cassiman & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2000. "External technology sources: Embodied or disembodied technology acquisition," Economics Working Papers 444, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  13. Iain M. Cockburn & Megan J. MacGarvie, 2009. "Patents, Thickets and the Financing of Early-Stage Firms: Evidence from the Software Industry," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 729-773, 09.
  14. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Kraft, Kornelius, 2005. "License Expenditures of Incumbents and Potential Entrants: An Empirical Analysis of Firm Behavior," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-35, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  15. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
  16. Ashish Arora & Andrea Fosfuri & Alfonso Gambardella, 2004. "Markets for Technology: The Economics of Innovation and Corporate Strategy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262511819, June.
  17. Bessen, James, 2004. "Holdup and licensing of cumulative innovations with private information," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 321-326, March.
  18. Geradin, Damien & Layne-Farrar, Anna & Padilla, Atilano Jorge, 2007. "Royalty Stacking in High Tech Industries: Separating Myth from Reality," CEPR Discussion Papers 6091, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Link, Albert N. & Scott, John T., 2003. "U.S. science parks: the diffusion of an innovation and its effects on the academic missions of universities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(9), pages 1323-1356, November.
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