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Access to intellectual property for innovation: Evidence on problems and coping strategies from German firms

Elisabeth Mueller (), Iain Cockburn () and Megan MacGarvie

Research Policy, 2013, vol. 42, issue 2, 529-541

Abstract: Transaction costs and contracting problems associated with proliferation of patents may have a negative impact on innovation. We present novel data on how frequently innovative German firms encountered problems with access to intellectual property (IP) for their innovation activities. While a small percentage of firms reported having abandoned or not started innovation projects because of IP issues, larger fractions reported having pursued their projects after modifying them. Using “coping mechanisms” such as acquisition of additional IP rights or taking legal action to limit the IP held by others was quite common. Much of the incidence of self-reported IP problems and coping activity was concentrated in firms which were larger, more R&D intensive, and had more patents than the corresponding median firm. After controlling for firm characteristics, we find that firms operating in technology areas with higher concentration of IP ownership experience a lower probability of reporting IP-related problems.

Keywords: Access to intellectual property; Patents; Innovation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O34 O31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2012.09.005

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