Intellectual Property, Competition, and Science versus Technology

39 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2017

See all articles by John T. Scott

John T. Scott

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics

Troy J. Scott

RTI International

Date Written: November 26, 2017

Abstract

This paper models pre-invention-insight research effort and explores the proposition that competition among potential inventors, who can freely enter into the discovery process and who freely share their ideas without taking intellectual property as they strive to discover invention insights, increases research effort above what would occur without the free sharing of ideas, hence stimulating invention and ultimately innovation. Given an idealized dichotomy between pre-invention-insight research and investment in research and development (R&D), the proposition is shown to be true. Although it is also shown that the proposition is not necessarily true given realistic overlapping of R&D investment with the search for invention insight, historical evidence suggests that the idealized dichotomy may be a sufficiently accurate description to allow the proposition to provide good guidance for public policy toward intellectual property in scientific findings.

Keywords: intellectual property (IP), invention, innovation, patents, public funding, research and development (R&D), research subsidies, science, technology

JEL Classification: O31, O32, O34, O38

Suggested Citation

Scott, John T. and Scott, Troy J., Intellectual Property, Competition, and Science versus Technology (November 26, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3077524 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3077524

John T. Scott (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States

Troy J. Scott

RTI International ( email )

PO Box 12194
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
United States

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