2000, English, Article, Working paper edition: Sequential innovation, patents, and imitation James Bessen [and] Eric Maskin [electronic resource] James Bessen

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Physical Description
  • 39 p. :
Published
  • Cambridge, Mass Dept. of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2000
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • Sequential innovation, patents, and imitation James Bessen [and] Eric Maskin
Author
  • James Bessen
Other Authors
  • Maskin, Eric
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Economics
Published
  • Cambridge, Mass Dept. of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2000
Medium
  • [electronic resource]
Physical Description
  • 39 p. :
Series
Summary
  • How could such industries as software, semiconductors, and computers have been so innovative despite historically weak patent protection? We argue that if innovation is both sequential and complementary--as it certainly has been in those industries--competition can increase firms' future profits thus offsetting short-term dissipation of rents. A simple model also shows that in such a dynamic industry, patent protection may reduce overall innovation and social welfare. The natural experiment that occurred when patent protection was extended to software in the 1980's provides a test of this model. Standard arguments would predict that R&​D intensity and productivity should have increased among patenting firms. Consistent with our model, however, these increases did not occur. Other evidence supporting our model includes a distinctive pattern of cross-licensing in these industries and a positive relationship between rates of innovation and firm entry. JEL Classification: O31, O34.
Notes
  • Title from cover. "January 2000."; "11/​99"--Abstract. Includes bibliographical references (p. 26-28). Abstract in HTML and working paper for download in PDF available via World Wide Web at the Social Science Research Network.
Language
  • English
Contributed by
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