Do shorter product cycles induce patent thickets?


Beschorner, Patrick


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URL: http://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/2171
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-21719
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2008
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: L1 L2 O31 K2 ,
Subject headings (SWD): Patent , Innovationswettbewerb , Gefangenendilemma , Lizenzvergabe , Theorie
Keywords (English): patent thicket , product cycles , licensing , network effects
Abstract: The traditional argument that shorter product cycles favor trade secret over patenting is reviewed. A game theoretic model provides an argument that shorter product cycles can induce firms to file more patent applications. The firms may be trapped in a prisoners' dilemma where all firms would jointly prefer to patent less and to not have a patent thicket. If firms start applying for patents on technologies which are not yet mature in order to cover ideas that may eventually turn successful, this may create a patent thicket. The transition into a situation where firms start patenting many ideas instead of single mature technologies is initiated and accelerated when network effects are present or patents exhibit a blocking property.
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Das Dokument wird vom Publikationsserver der Universitätsbibliothek Mannheim bereitgestellt.




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Beschorner, Patrick (2008) Do shorter product cycles induce patent thickets? Open Access [Working paper]
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