Browsing by Subject "patents"

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  • Louhivuori, Valtter (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    Innovations can be seen as an engine of long-term economic growth. Firms conduct research and development (R&D) activities to create new production technology, methods or products in order to rival their competitors. In addition to benefiting the inventor, new innovations have considerable positive externalities through knowledge spillovers. However, the socially optimal level of innovations may not be achieved, because firms can underinvest in R&D if they are not compensated for the positive externalities produced by their R&D activities. Public R&D programs aim to encourage innovation by compensating firms for the positive externalities that they produce. Finland’s recent public efforts on fostering innovation have been globally high by many indicators. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of these efforts has been relatively little scrutinised. This thesis studies the effectiveness of Finnish R&D program in fostering innovation outputs at the firm level. Firm-level patent statistics are used as a proxy for the innovativeness of a firm. A major contribution of this thesis is the comprehensive database that has been constructed and employed for the analysis. The database includes firm-level innovative characteristics for all the Finnish firms during a ten-year sample period, altogether covering more than two million observations for over 400 000 firms. Most of the studies on the effectiveness of the Finnish R&D program rely on the assumption that the researcher has full information on the relevant innovative characteristics that affect a firm’s program eligibility. This thesis addresses the program selectivity concern by employing an instrumental variable approach that exploits regional variation in public R&D funding stemming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) aid regulations. The estimates suggest that when the program selection bias is neglected, program participation is associated with around 10 percentage point increase in patenting probability among active patentees, whereas for all firms, the increase in patenting probability is only around 0.1 percentage points. However, the instrumental variable estimates do not confirm any significant causal effect of R&D program on patenting. This thesis highlights the importance of accounting for the selection bias induced by the R&D program selection criteria. The public R&D agency is found to select firms strongly based on the same characteristics that are highly associated with innovation within firms. Therefore, it is important to ask if some of the supported firms might have had conducted their R&D projects even in the absence of the public support. Analysing the R&D program’s selection criteria plays a major role in scrutinising the effectiveness of public R&D subsidies and in the further development of public innovation policies.
  • Ballardini, Rosa Maria (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2012)
    Economics and Society – 246
    This book is a study of how computer programs have challenged the thinking about and the actual use of intellectual property rights (IPRs) around the world. In general, the intellectual property (IP) system is governed by the same rules and applies equally to all fields of developments. However, the particular nature of computer software has challenged these fundamentals. Software is a pluralistic product that contains several elements, each of which could fall into different categories of IP laws. Currently, several protection mechanisms are available for software, including copyright, patents, trademarks, contracts, licensing agreements, and technical measures of protection. However, it has been suggested that none of these mechanisms successfully provide an adequate level of protection to computer programs. This thesis provides an in-depth analysis of some of the major failures within the current European and American software IP ecosystems while focusing mainly on copyright and patent rules. Overall, this book provides a valuable contribution to the literature by revising the most relevant aspects of the IP software framework and by suggesting a number of innovative approaches to shaping the IP laws and facilitating their interpretation. The results of this book provide tools that could be used by scholars, lawyers, and policymakers around the world.
  • Miettunen, Antti (2008)
    This Licentiate Thesis belongs to the area of economics of immaterial property rights. The aim of the Thesis is to study one of the legal patentability requirements, namely the novelty requirement, in a theoretical general equilibrium model. We study the novelty requirement under the assumption that both an idea as well as research and development investments are needed for an innovation. We assume that ideas are a scarce resource, they are generated via an exogenous process, and that R&D activity is costly. In order to invest in R&D activity, firms must have sufficient incentives to do so. We equate the novelty value of an innovation with the economic value, or utility, it produces. We consider four different versions of this basic setup. In the most satisfactory version there are three parameters: the number of ideas, the survival probability of innovations, and the patent strength. The patent strength is modeled as the probability that the innovator gets to keep the returns from the innovation to her. The model successfully captures the tension between the objectives of the society and an individual innovator, changes in parameters can be traced to aggregate measures, the model is well-behaved both analytically and numerically and the results are intuitive. We show that in this kind of a general setting, the scarcity of research ideas is sufficient to make non-zero novelty requirement optimal. This is a noteworthy result since scarcity is an important element in many optimal patent policy models in the literature. We also study the relationship between novelty requirement and equilibrium investments and show that as a function of the novelty requirement the equilibrium investment takes an inverse-U-shaped form. We also consider novelty both under perfect and imperfect patent regimes. Getting analytical results in a model of cumulative innovations where there are simultaneously two endogenous policy instruments, novelty requirement and patent strength, is left for future research. The current model is also limited in that it is a model of perfect information where strategic behavior is abstracted away.
  • Kiema, Ilkka (2005)
    The licentiate thesis discusses the growth effects of nonproprietary innovations in the context of endogenous growth models. Nonproprietary innovations are exemplified by open source software products, and the discussion of their growth effects is motivated by a recent demonstration by Gilles Saint-Paul that for plausible parameter values they reduce the growth rate in an endogenous growth model. The thesis contains short discussions of the history OS software, the earlier theoretical and empirical literature concerning with the motives of its producers, and some earlier endogenous growth models. After the presentation of this background information, two different ways of implementing nonproprietary innovations into an endogenous growth model are contrasted with each other in it. The first of these is the model which is due to Saint-Paul. In it growth is caused by specialization, and nonproprietary innovations are produced by 'philanthropists' who do not participate in the economy in other ways. However, it is pointed out below that OS software is often produced by employees of the IT sector or IT students, and that currently its producers are mostly not motivated by philanthropy. It is also argued below that it would be more natural to assume that growth was caused by creative destruction than that it is caused by specialization. This motivates the introduction of the other considered model. It is a model of growth through creative destruction, and it can be used for representing not only a situation in which nonproprietary innovations are produced by 'philanthropists' from outside the economy, but also a situation in which employees of the research sector produce nonproprietary innovations as a hobby in their free time, and in which they evaluate the participation in their production positively. An analysis of the latter model shows that the validity of Saint-Paul's result is not affected by the shift to a model of growth through creative destruction. However, it also turns out that when nonproprietary innovations are produced by employees of the research sector, they do promote economic growth for plausible parameter values in the context of the latter model, provided that the research sector is not too capital intensive.
  • Blick, Amanda (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Patents may be refused in Europe on the grounds that the commercial exploitation of otherwise patentable inventions would be considered contrary to ordre public and morality. Whereas patent offices have applied these exclusions only infrequently in the past, recent developments in the research of arising gene editing technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 and prime editing have given rise to varying opinions as to the approach that should be adopted in relation to patents. While genetics have been described as promising to offer an unprecedented contribution to improve health care, from the perspective of social sustainability, these advancements should be shared with society as a whole and with the international community. Despite the visions of a promising future, not much progress has been shown in advancing these goals – instead, considerable resources have been allocated for managing the perceived risks of gene editing rather than providing incentives to research new opportunities for its use. This is embodied in the restrictive policy that the European Union has adopted towards inventions involving germline gene therapy with the Directive 98/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 1998 on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions which unambiguously prevents the patentability of processes for modifying the germline genetic identity of human beings. Patents act as a negative force that simply allow the patent holder to prohibit others from commercially exploiting the invention conferred by the patent; they do not, however, form any absolute positive right to use an invention. A strong patent position is nevertheless understood to be a prerequisite for investment, and although patent law is not considered the primary control mechanism for regulating innovation, exclusions on patenting de facto indirectly regulate the types of therapies for which capital may be attracted in order to fund the significant costs associated with bringing new therapies or medicinal products to the market. Given the justification of the patent system providing economic incentives for the technologies the development of which we want to promote in our society, as European Union Member States have played an important role in pioneering new technologies which have later transferred to developing countries, this approach may have effects on a global scale, preventing individuals suffering from severe hereditary illnesses from achieving the right to the highest attainable standard of health which along with the strengthened view on human rights is understood to extend to preventive medicine. Reports from more recent sources such as the Nuffield Council on Bioethics have opened the discussion on how the concept of human dignity is not helpful in the context of germline gene therapy, proposing alternative principles such as the welfare of the future person as well as social justice and solidarity to provide help with the assessment on the acceptability of human applications. While the preamble in the Directive 98/44 declares there to be a “consensus within the Community” that interventions in the human germline offend against ordre public and morality, through balancing these divergent legal-ethical values, this thesis argues how these unequivocal prohibitions to patenting in fact fail to respect the social and cultural context of each Member State. Influenced through time and historical events, the basic European bioethical principles are differently reflected in the legal culture of each Member State – and as ordre public and morality should correspond in particular to ethical or moral principles recognized in each Member State, considering all human applications of these technologies unequivocally contrary to ordre public and morality does not adequately reflect the values and ethical positions of all Member States. From the perspective of social sustainability, as ordre public and morality patenting exclusions discourage investing in the research and development of these technologies, they also work as to hinder the right to benefit from scientific and technological progress. The policy decisions that the European Union adopts around the economic incentives on investing in further research has consequences on the global level, as these technologies would eventually spread to developing nations that are disadvantaged under current conditions of scientific research and innovation. In terms of benefit sharing and solidarity, it is just as important to ensure that effective policies exist to secure that patents do not end up acting as limiters of welfare and that the growing developments in knowledge and technology will not widen the existing social inequities but rather act as to reduce them.
  • Toikka, Juuso (2004)
    In this thesis we analyze how patent policy affects the strategic behavior of firms. We develop an infinite horizon model of innovation where each period firms are randomly matched to ideas which can be developed into innovations. The model allows for simultaneous independent discovery so that the number of firms producing the same innovation is determined endogenously. The issues that we consider are (1) innovators' optimal choice of protection between patents and (trade) secrecy, and (2) the effect of patents on the firms' ability to sustain tacit collusion. In studying the choice of protection, we find that firms may find it optimal to patent even if patent protection is weaker than protection under secrecy. This follows because of the prisoner's dilemma created by the patent policy: If no one else patents, the firm gets the patent and the corresponding monopoly profits for sure whereas secrecy yields only oligopoly profits in the event that there are others that have developed the same innovation. On the hand, if the competitors patent when successful, then secrecy yields positive profits only when no competitor is successful with the same innovation. Applying for the patent gives the innovator a chance of receiving a monopoly even when others are successful. This explains how the patent policy can at the same time enhance incentives to innovate and increase the spreading of information through increased spillovers. We show that welfare maximizing patent policy may either reduce or increase spillovers. Turning to the effects of patents on the competitiveness of an industry, we argue that a patent system makes collusion among innovators more difficult. Our argument is based on two properties of the patent system. First, a patent not only protects against infringement but also against punishment by former collusion members. Second, a deviator has an equal chance with the former collusion members to get a patent on future innovations. We show that if a patent system reduces spillovers, it renders collusion impossible. Moreover, it is possible to design a patent system that simultaneously increases knowledge spillovers and eliminates collusion.
  • Mansnérus, Juli; Lahti, Raimo; Blick, Amanda (Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki, 2020)
    Forum Iuris
    The paradigm of personalized medicine is an emerging topic, triggering some specific legal and ethical challenges as regards data collection, sharing and use, informed consent, privacy and public trust, and the changing status of patients and social equality. These legislative developments and challenges have been discussed in light of the Finnish and the common-European experiences. During recent years, the Finnish legislative processes aiming at generating ‘innovation-friendly’ legislation for scientific research purposes as well as integrating genomic research results into the clinical setting have been heavily challenged by rapid developments in technology and medicine. In particular, there is a need to pursue the right balance between scientific and commercial interests, public health, and individual rights. We aim at providing insights into the legislative processes surrounding personalized medicine with a special focus on how the freedom of science, equitable access to healthcare, public health, and commercial issues that must be balanced with individual rights as expressed in the EU Charter and the Council of Europe’s Oviedo Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine. A wide spectrum of different types of challenges arises; among other things, there is a need to discuss the Finnish and international legislation of genome testing in terms of consent on behalf of a young child. Also the legal and ethical aspects of disruptive gene-editing technologies need to be analysed: How should we interpret the concept of human dignity in the bioethical discussion surrounding germline editing? Furthermore, an overview of ongoing initiatives to accelerate the market-entry of advanced therapy medicinal products will be provided. The European regulators are now taking measures to create a facilitative regulatory environment that encourages innovation, protects public health, and enables timely patient access to innovative, new therapies whilst ensuring patient safety. The role of risk-proportionate adaptations to clinical trials and GMP manufacture along with the European Medicines Agency’s early-access incentives and initiatives are presented as potential facilitators of market entry. Furthermore, in this context, the role of conditional reimbursement schemes and risk sharing-agreements is also discussed in light of the newest Finnish experiences. Furthermore, in terms of patent law, some specific challenges arise; in this anthology, attention is paid to the recent transatlantic legal dispute over a patent concerning the use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system in eukaryotic cells. Finally, some considerations beyond legal or ethical aspects of personalised medicine are presented. How can machine learning be used to support personalized care that addresses the patient’s needs?
  • Cadillo Chandler, Dhanay María (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014)
    Economics and Society – 273
    The Role of Patents in the Latin American Development: ‘Models of Protection’ of pharmaceutical patents and access to medicines in Brazil, Chile and Venezuela Access to medicines, pharmaceutical patents, and public health are topics often addressed in the news. On the one hand, there is an imperative need to tackle pressing health concerns, and on the other hand, it is also important to provide adequate incentives to carry out research and development. Even though common health concerns exist within the developing world, each country has a different set of needs. The approach to solve or the strategies to balance intellectual property rights and access to medicines vary at large. Latin American countries i.e. Brazil, Chile and Venezuela, even though geographically located in the same continent, deal with the challenges in a different and unique manner. Before the TRIPS Agreement countries had the freedom to decide on whether or not to grant patent protection for medicines. Thus, most of the developing and least developed countries, now WTO member countries, did not provide patent protection for pharmaceuticals because they feared that patent protection would increase the price of pharmaceuticals, and hence, become an obstacle for the access to medicines. On the one hand, patent protection represents an incentive for the pharmaceutical industry to carry out R&D for new and needed drugs. But on the other hand, patents, as the system of financing R&D, has been regarded as a flawed system due to the high costs transferred to the finalised product (medicine) thus deterring access to medicines. Patent protection allows the inventor to prevent others from making use, selling, producing or distributing the invention without his consent for a period of no less than 20 years. Moreover, these rights conferred by the patent grant seem to constitute the pharmaceutical industry’s incentive to recoup the high costs associated with the R&D of a new drug. This book reviews the strategies or models of protection used in Brazil, Chile and Venezuela to balance both intellectual property rights (pharmaceutical patents) and access to medicines. Each country seems to have shaped their policies in accordance with their national priorities, whether these are motivated by health, political or commercial issues. This study portrays the different approaches followed in different national contexts despite all three having to implement the minimum standards of intellectual property protection according to the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). The outcome of the comparison of the policy implementations and the patterns followed by each of the analysed countries is without a doubt the main contribution of this academic study.