Defensive Publications in an R&D Race

26 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2006

See all articles by Talia Bar

Talia Bar

University of Connecticut - Department of Economics


This paper considers a multistage dynamic R&D race in which the competitors strategically publish research findings. Publications change the prior art, thus affecting patentability. Firms publish when they are behind in the race and their rival is close to winning it. Publication sets back both competitors and gives the follower a chance to catch up. Publications prolong the race. Firms are more likely to publish the more patient they are, and the higher their probability of success. Asymmetry between the firms generates additional incentives to publish such as protecting profits from a previous patent and increasing a strong firm's probability of winning. When firms face a joint decision on publications and the intensity of research, publications substitute investment.

Suggested Citation

Bar, Talia R., Defensive Publications in an R&D Race. Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 229-254, March 2006, Available at SSRN: or

Talia R. Bar (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut - Department of Economics ( email )

365 Fairfield Way, U-1063
Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

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