First Movers and Follow-on Invention: Evidence from a Vector Space Model of Invention
51 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2019
Date Written: March 10, 2019
This paper estimates the causal effect of being a first mover in the patent space by charting invention in a vector space model of technological relatedness and timing. Relative to close second movers, we find that first movers are more likely to prosecute a patent application to issuance and to pursue more follow-on invention. Invention novelty, however, is associated with being less likely to prosecute a patent application to issuance and with less follow-on invention. Moreover, the importance of being a first mover depends on how novel the invention is: the marginal effect of being a first mover increases when pursuing more novel invention, even though the overall likelihood of prosecuting a patent to issuance continues to decline with more novelty. We provide open access to our data for follow-on work by other researchers.
Keywords: First Mover, Follow-on Invention, Patents, Novelty
JEL Classification: O3, O30, O31, O32, O34, K11
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