Not all adverse reports from the foreign patent office affected exports. If the report cited blocking patents from a third country, it did not reduce exports.
The economic modelling also showed that would-be exporters who apply for but are refused a patent in foreign countries are discouraged from exporting. This effect was found even when the quality and value of the underlying invention was accounted for. It is possible that a business may hold a patent over an invention in one country but not another because all patent offices have some discretion over whether or not to grant an application. This patchwork pattern of patents gives rise to an ad hoc selling strategy. Businesses will sell into some markets where their patent enables them to recoup their costs of transport, marketing and post-production services; but in other markets, where they have had their patent application refused, they are not able to command the prices needed to cover these selling costs.
Much debate over the role of patents in international trade considers what the patent system should do. By contrast, in this study the researchers consider what the patent system actually does do – warts and all.
Paul Jensen is Professorial Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne
Alfons Palangkaraya is Associate Professor, Centre for Transformative Innovation, Swinburne University of TechnologyProfessor Beth Webster is Director, Centre for Transformative Innovation, Swinburne University of Technology, AustraliaFor further information contact Beth Webster on +61 439 953 497. (email: email@example.com) or the CREATe PR team (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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