Patent Commons, Thickets, and Open Source Software Entry by Start-Up Firms

56 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2013 Last revised: 4 Apr 2015

See all articles by Wen Wen

Wen Wen

University of Texas at Austin - McCombs School of Business

Marco Ceccagnoli

Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech

Chris Forman

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management; Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business

Date Written: August 2013

Abstract

We examine whether the introduction of a patent commons, a special type of royalty free patent pool available to the open source software (OSS) community influences new OSS product entry by start-up software firms. In particular, we analyze the impact of The Commons--established by the Open Source Development Labs and IBM in 2005. We find that increases in the size of The Commons related to a software market increase the rate of entry in the market by start-ups using a new product based on an OSS license. The marginal impact of The Commons on OSS entry is increasing in the cumulativeness of innovation in the market and the extent to which patent ownership in the market is concentrated.

Suggested Citation

Wen, Wen and Ceccagnoli, Marco and Forman, Chris, Patent Commons, Thickets, and Open Source Software Entry by Start-Up Firms (August 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19394. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2318764

Wen Wen (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - McCombs School of Business ( email )

2110 Speedway Stop B6500
Austin, TX 78712
United States

Marco Ceccagnoli

Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech ( email )

800 West Peachtree St.
Atlanta, GA 30308
United States

Chris Forman

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States

Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business ( email )

800 West Peachtree St.
Atlanta, GA 30308
United States

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