33 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2012
Date Written: October 19, 2012
We investigate whether patents that are jointly held by legally independent companies help sustain product-market collusion. We use a simple model of repeated interactions to show that joint patents can serve collusive purposes. Our model generates two testable predictions: when joint patents are held for collusive purposes, a) there is a positive relationship between the propensity to jointly own a patent and proximity in the product market; b) joint patents are associated with less licensing in the market for technology than individually owned patents, especially when firms are close product-market competitors. We construct a large, novel dataset that contains information on patents, research joint ventures, and licensing at the firm-level for the US and the EU to validate our theoretical predictions. We exploit differences in the legal regimes applicable to joint patents in the US and Europe to show that the data is consistent with our theoretical predictions.
Keywords: Joint patents, Property rights, R&D cooperation, Licensing
JEL Classification: K11, O31, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Fosfuri, Andrea and Helmers, Christian and Roux, Catherine, Are Joint Patents Collusive? Evidence from the US and Europe (October 19, 2012). TILEC Discussion Paper No. 2012-035; U. of St. Gallen Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2013-15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2164222 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2164222