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Antitrust exemptions for joint R&D improve patents

Leppala, Samuli 2016. Antitrust exemptions for joint R&D improve patents. Public Choice 166 , pp. 29-52. 10.1007/s11127-016-0311-1

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Investments in scientific and technological knowledge depend on the level of excludability. In this study, based on a game-theoretic analysis of discrete public goods, it is shown that pure excludability and pure non-excludability are equally inefficient, whereas the socially optimal level of excludability is a function of the benefits and costs of the knowledge investment, where it lies between the two extremes. This result illustrates the challenges and dangers of intellectual property rights policy. Allowing for voluntary R&D cooperation, the optimal level of excludability becomes an interval, typically between the two extremes. Thus, R&D cooperation can make intellectual property rights perform more efficiently and alleviate the problem of optimal policy design. This also demonstrates that knowledge commons can be provided efficiently through voluntary cooperation when imperfect property rights give partial excludability. Therefore, R&D cooperation and intellectual property rights should be considered as complementary rather than as separate and alternative policy measures.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
ISSN: 0048-5829
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 21 January 2016
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2020 09:00

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