Journal Article

The value of intellectual property rights to firms and society

Christine Greenhalgh and Mark Rogers

in Oxford Review of Economic Policy

Published on behalf of The Oxford Review of Economic Policy Ltd

Volume 23, issue 4, pages 541-567
Published in print December 2007 | ISSN: 0266-903X
Published online January 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2121 | DOI:
The value of intellectual property rights to firms and society

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  • Technological Change; Research and Development


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Economists view intellectual property rights (IPRs) as policy tools for encouraging innovation, but they recognize that they can also inhibit competition. There are many types of IPRs and institutions concerned with their administration. We begin by outlining how these complex and varied rights are supposed to work and how they interact with other characteristics of firms and markets. We then survey the available literature on patents, trade marks, and copyright to assess the value of these IPRs to firms and the costs to firms of acquiring and defending their rights. The paper concludes with suggestions for topics requiring further research to inform public policy better.

Keywords: innovation; intellectual property; patents; trade marks; copyright; O31; O34

Journal Article.  14979 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Technological Change; Research and Development

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