[Ip-health] "Patents and Innovation in Economic History"

Kapczynski, Amy amy.kapczynski at yale.edu
Tue Jan 12 06:19:49 PST 2016

An interesting new review piece by Petra Moser was just posted online, collecting recent empirical evidence (mostly historical) on the economic implications of patents.   

She concludes: "Historical evidence suggests that patents were not a necessary condition for innovation, and that the large majority of innovations occurred outside of the patent system. Policies that limit the scope of patents (such as compulsory licensing) have encouraged innovation, while policies that strengthen the monopoly power conveyed by patents (such as unregulated patent pools) have unambiguously discouraged innovation."

"Patents and Innovation in Economic History" 

The section on compulsory licensing might be of particular interest to people on this list.  E.g.:

"Firms under threat of compulsory licensing today argue that it will weaken their incentives to invest in R&D. The historical records, however, suggests the opposite. Baten, Moser, and Bianchi (2015) collect and analyze firm-level data on German patents to examine invention by German firms that were differentially affected by compulsory licensing under the TWEA. This analysis indicates that compulsory licensing was associated with a 28 percent increase in patenting by German inventors."

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