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Patent Thickets, Licensing and Innovative Performance

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Müller, Elisabeth & MacGarvie, Megan J. & Cockburn, Iain M., 2008. "Patent Thickets, Licensing and Innovative Performance," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-101, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7475
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Isabella Leone & Raffaele Oriani & Toke Reichstein, 2015. "How much are flexibility and uncertainty worth in patent licensing?," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 42(4), pages 371-394, December.
    2. Dr Chiara Rosazza Bondibene, 2012. "A Study of Patent Thickets," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 401, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    3. Henrik Braconier & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Ben Westmore, 2015. "Policy challenges for the next 50 years," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2015(1), pages 9-66.
    4. Stefano Comino & Fabio Maria Manenti, 2015. "Intellectual Property and Innovation in Information and Communication Technology (ICT)," JRC Working Papers JRC97541, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    5. NAGAOKA Sadao & NISHIMURA Yoichiro, 2014. "Complementarity, Fragmentation, and the Effects of Patent Thickets," Discussion papers 14001, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    6. Grimpe, Christoph & Hussinger, Katrin, 2014. "Pre-empted patents, infringed patents and firms’ participation in markets for technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 543-554.
    7. Brem, Alexander & Nylund, Petra A. & Schuster, Gerd, 2016. "Innovation and de facto standardization: The influence of dominant design on innovative performance, radical innovation, and process innovation," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 50, pages 79-88.
    8. Bettina Peters & Christian Rammer, 2013. "Innovation panel surveys in Germany," Chapters,in: Handbook of Innovation Indicators and Measurement, chapter 6, pages 135-177 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Sanderson, Susan Walsh & Simons, Kenneth L., 2014. "Light emitting diodes and the lighting revolution: The emergence of a solid-state lighting industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(10), pages 1730-1746.
    10. Munari, Federico & Toschi, Laura, 2014. "Running ahead in the nanotechnology gold rush. Strategic patenting in emerging technologies," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 194-207.
    11. Giuditta De Prato & Daniel Nepelski, 2012. "International patenting strategies in ICT," JRC Working Papers JRC79479, Joint Research Centre (Seville site), revised Nov 2012.
    12. Schwiebacher, Franz, 2012. "Complementary assets, patent thickets and hold-up threats: Do transaction costs undermine investments in innovation?," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-015, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    13. Galasso, Alberto & Schankerman, Mark & Serrano, Carlos J., 2013. "Trading and enforcing patent rights," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51080, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Marx, Matt & Hsu, David H., 2015. "Strategic switchbacks: Dynamic commercialization strategies for technology entrepreneurs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(10), pages 1815-1826.
    15. Li, Zhengyu, 2016. "Essays on knowledge sourcing and technological capability : A knowledge structure perspective," Other publications TiSEM b8ff31fc-c57b-4bc3-b5a4-0, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    16. Gambardella, Alfonso & Giarratana, Marco S., 2013. "General technological capabilities, product market fragmentation, and markets for technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 315-325.
    17. Chang, Shu-Hao & Fan, Chin-Yuan, 2016. "Identification of the technology life cycle of telematics: A patent-based analytical perspective," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 1-10.
    18. Chondrakis, George, 2016. "Unique synergies in technology acquisitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1873-1889.
    19. Fischer, Timo & Henkel, Joachim, 2012. "Patent trolls on markets for technology – An empirical analysis of NPEs’ patent acquisitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1519-1533.
    20. Stefano Comino & Fabio M. Manenti & NIkolaus Thumm, 2017. "The Role of Patents in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). A survey of the Literature," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0212, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    21. Schwiebacher, Franz, 2013. "Does fragmented or heterogeneous IP ownership stifle investments in innovation?," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-096, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    22. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:9:p:1644-1654 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Andreas Panagopoulos & In-Uck Park, 2016. "Patenting vs. Secrecy for Startups and the Trade of Patents as Negotiating Assets," Working Papers 1610, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
    24. Dan Andrews & Chiara Criscuolo, 2013. "Knowledge-Based Capital, Innovation and Resource Allocation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1046, OECD Publishing.

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    Keywords

    patent thickets; licensing; innovative performance;

    JEL classification:

    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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