Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1916798
 
 

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Patent Thickets, Trolls and Unproductive Entrepreneurship


John L. Turner


University of Georgia - C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry College of Business - Department of Economics

May 1, 2013


Abstract:     
I introduce and analyze an equilibrium model of discovery, innovation, patenting and infringement. Profitable use of innovations requires adaptation to complementary technologies. With patents, a thicket of conflicting rights emerges and costly infringements occur. This taxes innovation and lowers welfare. When it is possible to be a "troll" --- patent without innovating --- the rate of innovation falls further. Intuitively, some trolls would innovate if it were impossible to be a troll. More technology is patented with trolls, so the thicket grows and welfare falls. Optimal policy specifies a Pigouvian patent fee and a rate of patent enforcement that makes trolling unprofitable.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: litigation, patents, thickets, trolls, discovery

JEL Classification: K2, L2, O3

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Date posted: August 25, 2011 ; Last revised: July 2, 2013

Suggested Citation

Turner, John L., Patent Thickets, Trolls and Unproductive Entrepreneurship (May 1, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1916798 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1916798

Contact Information

John L. Turner (Contact Author)
University of Georgia - C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry College of Business - Department of Economics ( email )
Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States
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