Between- vs. Within-Patent Competition

7 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2004

See all articles by Tomas Philipson

Tomas Philipson

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Carolanne Dai

University of Chicago


A patent only protects an innovator from others producing the same product; it does not provide protection from others producing better products under new patents. Between-patent competition may be as important a limit on innovative returns as within-patent competition, particularly in high-tech fields such as the telecommunications, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industries. Given the importance of both within- and between-patent competition, our study attempts to estimate their relative impacts on innovative returns for the U.S. pharmaceutical industry.

Keywords: patent law, between-patent competition, within-patent competition, pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical industry, generic drugs,research and development costs, R&D, Federal Drug Administration, FDA

JEL Classification: K11, L65, D23

Suggested Citation

Philipson, Tomas J. and Dai, Carolanne, Between- vs. Within-Patent Competition. Regulation, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 42-48, Fall 2003. Available at SSRN:

Tomas J. Philipson (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

Graduate School of Business
1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Carolanne Dai

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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