Cohen, Nelson and Walsh (2000)

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1. Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare 2. Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)? 3. Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors) 4. Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption) 5. Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)

A. Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right) B. Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction) C. Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing) D. Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability) E. Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts) F. Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)

Source Details

Cohen, Nelson and Walsh (2000)
Title: Protecting their intellectual assets: Appropriability conditions and why U.S. manufacturing firms patent(or not)
Author(s): Cohen, W. M., Nelson, R. R., Walsh, J.P.
Year: 2000
Citation: Cohen, W. M., Nelson, R. R., & Walsh, J.P. (2000). Protecting their intellectual assets: Appropriability conditions and why U.S. manufacturing firms patent(or not). National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No.7552.
Link(s): Definitive , Open Access
Key Related Studies:
Discipline:
Linked by:
About the Data
Data Description: Survey questionnaire administered to 1478 R&D managers in the U.S. in 1994. The survey data is supplemented with published data on firm sales and employees from COMPUSTAT, Dun and Bradstreet, Moody's, and Ward's. The surveys were also supplemented with 18 interviews with R&D managers. The interviews typically lasted one hour, and often included more than one respondent.
Data Type: Primary data
Secondary Data Sources:
Data Collection Methods:
Data Analysis Methods:
Industry(ies):
Country(ies):
Cross Country Study?: No
Comparative Study?: Yes
Literature review?: No
Government or policy study?: No
Time Period(s) of Collection:
  • 1994
Funder(s):
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  • Center for Global Partnership

Abstract

Based on a survey questionnaire administered to 1478 R&D labs in the U.S. manufacturing sector in 1994, we find that firms typically protect the profits due to invention with a range of mechanisms, including patents, secrecy, lead time advantages and the use of complementary marketing and manufacturing capabilities. Of these mechanisms, however, patents tend to be the least emphasized by firms in the majority of manufacturing industries, and secrecy and lead time tend to be emphasized most heavily. A comparison of our results with the earlier survey findings of Levin et al. (1987) suggests that patents may be relied upon somewhat more heavily by larger firms now than in the early 1980s. For the protection of product innovations, secrecy now appears to be be much more heavily employed across most industries than previously. Our results on the motives for patent indicate that firms patent for reasons that often extend beyond directly profiting from a patented innovation through either its commercialization or licensing. In addition to the prevention of copying, the most prominent motives for patenting include the prevention of rivals from patenting related inventions (i.e., "patent blocking"), the use of patents in negotiations and the prevention of suits. We find that firms commonly patent for different reasons in "discrete" product industries, such as telecommunications equipment or semiconductors. In the former, firms appear to use their patents commonly to block the development of substitute by rivals, and in the latter, firms are much more likely to use patents to force rivals into negotiations.

Main Results of the Study

  • Firms tend to protect the profits due to invention with a range of mechanisms, including patents, secrecy, lead time advantages and the use of complementary marketing and manufacturing capabilities.
  • Of these mechanisms, patents are typically the least emphasized by firms in the majority of manufacturing industries, while secrecy and lead time tend to be emphasized most heavily.
  • A comparison of this study's results with the earlier survey findings of Levin et al. (1987) suggests that patents may be relied upon somewhat more heavily by larger firms now than in the early 1980s.
  • The main prominent motives for patenting, in addition to the prevention of copying, include the prevention of rivals from patenting related inventions, the use of patents in negotiations and the prevention of suits.

Policy Implications as Stated By Author

By limiting entry, patent portfolio may help prevent breakdowns in negotiations over intellectual property.

Coverage of Study

Coverage of Fundamental Issues
Issue Included within Study
Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare
Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)?
Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors)
Green-tick.png
Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption)
Green-tick.png
Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)
Coverage of Evidence Based Policies
Issue Included within Study
Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right)
Green-tick.png
Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction)
Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing)
Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability)
Green-tick.png
Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts)
Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)

Datasets

Sample size: 1478
Level of aggregation: Questionnaire
Period of material under study: 1994


Sample size: 18
Level of aggregation: Interview
Period of material under study: 1994