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Guest seminary Elie J.Sung and Thesis seminary Haruki Sawamura

10H00 - Guest seminary : Elie J.Sung,

Title : Evaluation of a policy change weakening patents and its heterogeneous effect on firm innovation


Autors: Elie J Sung, John P. Walsh


The aim of this study is to analyze the effect of a decision weakening patents in light of the arguments made by stakeholders during the policymaking process. We show that the common belief that weaker patents lead to fewer innovations is wrong, while accounting for the heterogeneous patent-related strategies. Using a unique dataset on the entire population of French firms over 1995-2010 matched with their patents, we propose a cleaner test compared to previous literature using a measure closer to the concept of patenting propensity and a novel empirical approach. The arguments made by the Supreme Court and Amici in court documents show that the policy objectives are partially attained. While large firms in complex products industries reduce preemptive patenting, other firms use patents less as an appropriation mechanism. Nevertheless, innovative activities remain high overall, due to the availability of alternative appropriation mechanisms and the spillovers allowed by weaker patents.

11H00 - Thesis seminary:

Haruki SAWAMURA will present the progress of his work at 11 am in the CRG library.