PATENTS AND THE DIFFUSION OF TECHNICAL INFORMATION

James E. Bessen

Boston University School of Law Working Paper 05-01

Abstract

Does the disclosure requirement of the patent system encourage the diffusion of inventions? This paper builds a simple model where firms choose between patents and trade secrecy to protect inventions. Diffusion is not necessarily more likely with a patent system nor is the "market for technology" necessarily greater.

Keywords: Patents, Innovation, Diffusion, Trade Secrecy

JEL Classifications: K3, L5, O3

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James Bessen Contact Information:

jbessen@researchoninnovation.org

Boston University School of Law
765 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215
USA
(617) 353-5817

SSRN Site:

http://www.ssrn.com/abstract_id=650101

Presentation and Publication Information:

Economics Letters, Vol. 86, No. 1, pp. 121-128, January 2005


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