Intellectual Property Rights Policy, Competition and Innovation
Journal of the European Economic Association,
To what extent and in what form should the intellectual property rights (IPR) of innovators be protected? Should a company with a large technology lead over its rivals receive the same IPR protection as a company with a more limited advantage? In this paper, we develop a dynamic framework for the study of the interactions between IPR and competition, in particular to understand the impact of such policies on future incentives. The economy consists of many industries and firms engaged in cumulative (step-by-step) innovation. IPR policy regulates whether followers in an industry can copy the technology of the leader. We prove the existence of a steady-state equilibrium and characterize some of its properties. We then quantitatively investigate the implications of different types of IPR policy on the equilibrium growth rate and welfare. The most important result from this exercise is that full patent protection is not optimal; instead, optimal policy involves state-dependent IPR protection, providing greater protection to technology leaders that are further ahead than those that are close to their followers. This is because of a trickle-down effect: providing greater protection to firms that are further ahead of their followers than a certain threshold increases the R&D incentives also for all technology leaders that are less advanced than this threshold.
The Role of the Intellectual Property Rights Regime for Foreign Investors in Post-Socialist Economies
We integrate international business theory on foreign direct investment (FDI) with institutional theory on intellectual property rights (IPR) to explain characteristics and behaviour of foreign investment subsidiaries in Central East Europe, a region with an IPR regime-gap vis-à-vis West European countries. We start from the premise that FDI may play a crucial role for technological catch-up development in Central East Europe via technology and knowledge transfer. By use of a unique dataset generated at the IWH in collaboration with a European consortium in the framework of an EU-project, we assess the role played by the IPR regimes in a selection of CEE countries as a factor for corporate governance and control of foreign invested subsidiaries, for their own technological activity, their trade relationships, and networking partners for technological activity. As a specific novelty to the literature, we assess the in influence of the strength of IPR regimes on corporate control of subsidiaries and conclude that IPR-sensitive foreign investments tend to have lower functional autonomy, tend to cooperate more intensively within their transnational network and yet are still technologically more active than less IPR-sensitive subsidiaries. In terms of economic policy, this leads to the conclusion that the FDI will have a larger developmental impact if the IPR regime in the host economy is sufficiently strict.
Herausforderungen der Zukunft
Standardization Future Conference,
Aus Sicht der Zukunft werden Anforderungsprofile an die Reform des Weltnormungssystems gestellt. Dabei spielt insbesondere die Einbettung der Normung in die Intellektuellen Eigentumsrechte (intellectural property rights, IPRs) eine wesentliche Rolle, und zwar einmal im Sinne in der Vorphase des Normungs- und Standardisierungsprozesses im Sinne der Zugangsrechte zu Patenten und Verfahren der Lizensierung, und im Anschluß an die Kodifizierung im Sinne des Copyrights. Vor allem die Potentiale, technologische "Roadmaps" durch Normung abszusichern, werden herausgestellt. (Schriftliche Fassung eines Vortrags auf der Hannover Messe, April 2004)