Thompson and Kuhn, ‘Does Winning a Patent Race lead to more follow-on Innovation?’

Competition between firms to invent and patent an idea, or ‘patent racing’, has been much discussed in theory, but seldom analyzed empirically and never at scale. This article introduces an empirical way to identify patent races, and provides the first broad-based view of them in the real world. It reveals that patent races are common, particularly in information-technology fields. The article then analyzes the effect of winning a patent race, showing that patent race winners do significantly more follow-on innovation, and their follow-on research is more similar to what was covered by the patent.

Neil C Thompson and Jeffrey M Kuhn, Does Winning a Patent Race lead to more follow-on Innovation?, Journal of Legal Analysis, volume 12, 2020, pages 183–220,

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