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American Economic Review: Vol. 94 No. 3 (June 2004)

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Efficient Patent Pools

Article Citation

Lerner, Josh, and Jean Tirole. 2004. "Efficient Patent Pools." American Economic Review, 94(3): 691-711.

DOI: 10.1257/0002828041464641

Abstract

The paper builds a tractable model of patent pools, agreements among patent owners to license sets of their patents. It provides a necessary and sufficient condition for patent pools to enhance welfare and shows that requiring pool members to be able to independently license patents matters if and only if the pool is otherwise welfare reducing. The paper allows patents to differ in importance, asymmetric blocking patterns, and licensors to also be licensees. We undertake some initial exploration of the impact of pools on innovation. The analysis has broader applicability than pools, being relevant to a number of co-marketing arrangements.

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Authors

Lerner, Josh
Tirole, Jean


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