Ginarte and Park (1997)
|Ginarte and Park (1997)|
|Title:||Determinants of patent rights: A cross-national study|
|Author(s):||Ginarte, J. C., Park, W. G.|
|Citation:||Ginarte, J. C., & Park, W. G. (1997). Determinants of patent rights: A cross-national study. Research policy, 26(3), 283-301.|
|Key Related Studies:|
|Linked by:||Handke, Guibault, and Vallbe (2015), Javorcik (2004), Marron and Steel (2000), Van Kranenburg and Hogenbirk (2005)|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The index was constructed for each of the 110 countries in the sample, quinquennially from 1960 to 1990, using a coding scheme applied to national patent laws. The sources of information on patent laws used in this study were Baxter (1968), Gadbaw and Richards (1988), Hemnes et al. (1992), Jacobs (1978), Kim (1993), Matip (1965), Meller (1990), Nelson (1975), Schade (1961), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (1975), and World Intellectual Property Organization (1988). The data are from various sources: Real GDP per-capita are from Summers et al. (1995); Research and Development as a percentage of GDP from UNESCO; and the Secondary School Enrollment Rate and Political Rights Index from Barro and Lee (1994).|
|Data Type:||Secondary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||Yes|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
This paper presents an index of patent rights for 110 countries for the period 1960-1990. The index is used to examine what factors or characteristics of economies determine how strongly patent rights will be protected. The evidence does indicate that more developed economies tend to provide stronger protection. But the underlying factors which influence patent protection levels are the country's level of research and development (R&D) activity, market environment, and international integration, which are correlated with its level of development. The results qualify, however, that R&D activity influences patent .protection levels after a nation's research sector reaches a critical size. An implication of this is that to raise patent protection levels in weakly protecting countries, it is important to foster a significant research base in those countries and thereby create incentives
Main Results of the Study
In order to facilitate comparisons of patent regimes across countries, this paper develops an index of patent rights (PR) for 110 countries for the period 1960-1990. After constructing the index, the paper analyzes country characteristics which predict how strongly a country will provide patent protection. The paper asks, for example, whether richer countries provide stronger protection, whether countries provide stronger protection as they develop, and whether such rights are better protected in democracies, freer markets, educated societies, in countries exposed to international trade, or in regions with higher levels of innovative activity. More specifically, this paper shows that:
- Factors that reduce long run price or stimulate long run production should lead to a strengthening of patent protection.
- The effects on patent protection are empirical questions. The 'expected' effects depend on the direct effects dominating, which may not be the case if a variable has a small direct effect or no effect at all on welfare.
- The more developed economies provide stronger protection.
- It is not the level of development per se that influences the provision of patent rights but rather the determinants of economic development, such as research and development, market freedom, and openness.
- Political freedom and human capital have positive influences on patent rights but are not statistically significant at conventional levels.
- R&D does not matter for the poorer economies
- There is a critical size of a research sector, above which there is sufficient interest on the part of authorities to provide patent rights and below which there is not.
- The market freedom variable consistently has the predicted effect on the patent rights of both rich and poor alike. It is market freedom, and not so much political freedom, that provides an environment conducive to innovation and production.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
- There are large fixed costs of establishing a patent system as well as operating costs. Thus, if the size of a research sector is small, inventors may not produce enough innovations to make the adoption of a patent system worthwhile.
- Hence, at an international level, cooperative efforts should be directed at fostering a significant research base in countries where patent protection levels are low.
- Countries that conduct significant innovative research are more likely to have vested interests in seeing patent rights respected. It is this fact that international negotiations should try to exploit.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Country|
|Period of material under study:||1960-1990|