The Patent Paradox Revisited: Determinants of Patenting in the Us Semiconductor Industry, 1980-94

45 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 1999 Last revised: 28 Jan 2015

Bronwyn H. Hall

University of California at Berkeley; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Rosemarie Ham Ziedonis

Boston University - Questrom School of Business

Date Written: March 1999

Abstract

This paper examines the patenting behavior of firms in an industry characterized by rapid technological change and cumulative innovation. Recent evidence suggests that semiconductor firms do not rely heavily on patents, despite the strengthening of US patent rights in the early 1980s. Yet the propensity of semiconductor firms to patent has risen dramatically over the past decade. This paper explores this apparent paradox by analyzing the patenting activities of almost 100 US semiconductor firms during 1980-94. The results suggest that stronger patents may have facilitated entry by firms in niche product markets, while spawning patent portfolio races' among capital-intensive firms.

Suggested Citation

Hall, Bronwyn H. and Ziedonis, Rosemarie Ham, The Patent Paradox Revisited: Determinants of Patenting in the Us Semiconductor Industry, 1980-94 (March 1999). NBER Working Paper No. w7062. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=158610

Bronwyn H. Hall (Contact Author)

University of California at Berkeley ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States

HOME PAGE: http://emlab.berkeley.edu/users/bhhall/index.html

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany

Rosemarie Ham Ziedonis

Boston University - Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02215
United States

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