Incidence and Growth of Patent Thickets: The Impact of Technological Opportunities and Complexity

43 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2013

See all articles by Georg von Graevenitz

Georg von Graevenitz

Queen Mary, School of Business and Management; Center for Competition Policy; University of Glasgow - CREATe, RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy

Stefan Wagner

ESMT European School of Management and Technology

Dietmar Harhoff

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Institute for Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship (INNO-tec)

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Date Written: September 2013

Abstract

We analyze incidence and evolution of patent thickets. The paper provides a modeling framework showing how competition for patent portfolios, complementarity of patented technologies and holdā€up affect patenting. Predictions are that technological opportunity reduces patenting in complex technologies, while increasing patenting in discrete technologies. Competition has the opposite effects. The predictions are tested using European patent data in a panel with 2,074 patenting firms in thirty technology areas over fifteen years. A new measure of technological complexity is applied. GMM estimation results confirm the predictions of our preferred model. Patent thickets are found in nine out of thirty technology areas.

Suggested Citation

von Graevenitz, Georg and Wagner, Stefan and Harhoff, Dietmar, Incidence and Growth of Patent Thickets: The Impact of Technological Opportunities and Complexity (September 2013). The Journal of Industrial Economics, Vol. 61, Issue 3, pp. 521-563, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2344009 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joie.12032

Georg Von Graevenitz (Contact Author)

Queen Mary, School of Business and Management ( email )

Mile End
London, E1 4NS
United Kingdom

Center for Competition Policy ( email )

UEA
Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR47TJ
United Kingdom

University of Glasgow - CREATe, RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy ( email )

10 The Square, Glasgow University
Glasgow, G12 8QQ
United Kingdom

Stefan Wagner

ESMT European School of Management and Technology ( email )

Schlossplatz 1
10117 Berlin
Germany

Dietmar Harhoff

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Institute for Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship (INNO-tec) ( email )

Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
D-80539 Munich
Germany

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