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Digital 'Mash-Ups,' Patents, and Copyright

38 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2018  

Kevin Boudreau

Northeastern University - Innovation & Entrepreneurship; Dept. of Economics; College of Computer & Information Sciences; Harvard University - Institute for Quantitative Social Science; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Lars Bo Jeppesen

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics

Milan Miric

University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business

Date Written: January 7, 2018

Abstract

Are our intellectual property (IP) institutions effective for a new generation of digital innovations? To make progress on this question, this paper analyzes a novel dataset on mobile app developers' use of patents and copyright, product revenues, licensing and outsourcing, and product and developer characteristics. We find within-industry heterogeneity in patent and copyright use, even among seemingly similar suppliers selling similar products. This pattern of IP use, along with consequent revenues and propensity to engage in IP trade is closely associated with the specific nature of innovations embodied in the products. Therefore, whereas patent and copyright use historically have differed across industries while tending to be similar across suppliers within the same industry, the “mash-up” nature of digital products (amalgams of programs, datasets, graphics, algorithms, etc.) results in unusually finer-grained differences within industries. Pliant digital product development choices and IP choices go hand-in-hand.

Suggested Citation

Boudreau, Kevin and Jeppesen, Lars Bo and Miric, Milan, Digital 'Mash-Ups,' Patents, and Copyright (January 7, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3097643

Kevin Boudreau (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - Innovation & Entrepreneurship; Dept. of Economics; College of Computer & Information Sciences ( email )

Harvard University - Institute for Quantitative Social Science ( email )

1737 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Lars Bo Jeppesen

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics ( email )

Kilevej 14A
Frederiksberg, 2000
Denmark

Milan Miric

University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business ( email )

Marshall School of Business
BRI 401, 3670 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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