DP2284 | Licensing the Market for Technology

Publication Date

30/11/1999

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Abstract

In technology-based industries, incumbent firms often license their technology to other firms that will potentially compete with them. Such a strategy is difficult to explain within traditional models of licensing. This paper extends the literature on licensing by relaxing the assumption of a monopolist technology holder. We develop a model with many technological trajectories for the production of a differentiated good. We find that competition in the market for technology induces licensing of innovations, and that the number of licenses can be inefficiently large. A strong testable implication of our theory is that the number of licenses per patent holder decreases with the degree of product differentiation.