Does Winning a Patent Race Lead to More Follow-On Innovation?

48 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2017

See all articles by Neil Thompson

Neil Thompson

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL); Lab for Innovation Science at Harvard

Jeffrey M. Kuhn

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Kenan-Flagler Business School

Date Written: January 1, 2017

Abstract

Competition between firms to invent and patent an idea, or “patent racing,” has been much discussed in theory, but seldom analyzed empirically. This article introduces an empirical way to identify patent races, and provides the first broad-based view of them in the real world. It reveals that patent races are common, particularly in information-technology fields. The analysis is then extended to get the causal impact of winning a patent race, using a regression-discontinuity approach. It shows that patent race winners do significantly more follow-on innovation, and the follow-on research that they do is more similar to what was covered by the patent.

Keywords: Patent Race, Intellectual Property, Innovation

JEL Classification: O34, O31, O33

Suggested Citation

Thompson, Neil and Kuhn, Jeffrey M., Does Winning a Patent Race Lead to More Follow-On Innovation? (January 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2899088 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2899088

Neil Thompson (Contact Author)

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) ( email )

32 Vassar Street
G766
Cambridge, MA MA 02142
United States
617-324-6029 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.neil-t.com

Lab for Innovation Science at Harvard ( email )

1737 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jeffrey M. Kuhn

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Kenan-Flagler Business School ( email )

McColl Building
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3490
United States

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