Towards non-exclusive intellectual property rights

Authored by: Cristiano Antonelli

Routledge Handbook of the Economics of Knowledge

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415640992
eBook ISBN: 9780203082324
Adobe ISBN: 9781136178658


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The recent advances in the economics of knowledge make the limitations of the current intellectual property rights (IPR) regime more and more evident. The generation of technological knowledge is a recombinant process where the stock of existing knowledge is a necessary, non-disposable input strictly complementary to other inputs such as competence and research and development expenditures. Because of the intrinsic cumulability of technological knowledge, the limits to the access and use of existing knowledge caused by the current IPR regime risk reducing the actual number of innovations that an economic system is able to generate. It is clear in fact that if on the one hand IPR increases the appropriability of the economic benefits stemming from the generation of new technological knowledge and hence the incentives to generate new technological knowledge, then on the other hand the limits to the use of existing knowledge cause major obstacles and engender major costs to the recombinant generation of new technological knowledge.

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