Working Group on Intellectual Property, Innovation, and Prosperity

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Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Hoover Book Club: Stephen Haber On "The Battle Over Patents: History And Politics Of Innovation"

via Hoover Podcasts
Monday, December 6, 2021

A discussion with Stephen Haber on his latest book, The Battle over Patents: History and Politics of Innovation moderated by Bill Whalen on Monday, December 6 at 10AM PT/1:00PM ET.

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The Battle Over Patents

by Stephen Haber, Naomi R. Lamoreauxvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Familiar complaints about “trolls” ignore the intricate machinery that works to allocate the gains from intellectual property.

Patent Applications
In the News

Battles Over Patents Can Be Productive

featuring Stephen Habervia Financial Times
Thursday, October 14, 2021

Let our global subject matter experts broaden your perspective with timely insights and opinions you can’t find anywhere else.

Featured

Battles Over Patents Can Be Productive

by Stephen Habervia Financial Times
Thursday, October 14, 2021

[Subscription Required] Hoover Institution fellow Stephen Haber gives his perspective on patents.

The Battle over Patents: History and Politics of Innovation

via Oxford University Press
Friday, August 20, 2021

An examination of how the patent system works, imperfections and all, to incentivize innovation

Financial Innovation in the 21st Century: Evidence from U.S. Patents

by Amit Seruvia IP2 Working Paper Series
Saturday, July 31, 2021

A unique dataset of 24 thousand U.S. finance patents granted over the last two decades was developed to explore the evolution and production of financial innovation. Machine learning was used to identify the financial patents and extensively audit the results to ensure their reasonableness. Patented financial innovation is substantial and economically important, with the number of annual grants expanding from a few dozen in the 1990s to over 2000 in the 2010s.

Co-Authors: Josh Lerner, Nick Short & Yuan Sun

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The Battle Over Patents: History And The Politics Of Innovation

by Stephen Haber, Naomi R. Lamoreauxvia National Bureau of Economic Research
Tuesday, May 18, 2021

This essay is the introduction to a book of the same title, forthcoming in summer of 2021 from Oxford University Press. The purpose is to document the ways in which patent systems are products of battles over the economic surplus from innovation. The features of these systems take shape as interests at different points in the production chain seek advantage in any way they can, and consequently, they are riven with imperfections. 

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Why the World Needs a Covid-19 Vaccine Price Guarantee

by Amit Seru, Peter DeMarzo, Hanno Lustig, Jeffrey Zwiebelvia The Initiative on Global Markets (Chicago Booth)
Monday, March 23, 2020

Beginning with SARS, Ebola, Zika, MERS, and now COVID-19, the world has witnessed the magnitude of the threat from the outbreak of an infectious and deadly disease. The subsequent scramble for a vaccine, and the long delays involved, makes it clear that we are unprepared. Why are we underinvesting in the R&D necessary for the rapid deployment of crucial medicines? 

Are “Fangs” Monopolies? A Theory of Disequilibrium Competition With Uncertainty

by Nicolas Petitvia IP2 Working Paper Series
Tuesday, April 16, 2019

This paper lays down the rudiments of a descriptive theory of competition among the digital tech platforms known as “FANGs” (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google), amidst rising academic and policy polarization over the answer to what seems to be – at least at the formulation level – a simple question: are FANGs monopolies?

Liability Rules in the Internet of Things: Why Traditional Legal Relations Encourage Modern Technological Innovation

by Richard A. Epsteinvia IP2 Working Paper Series
Tuesday, January 8, 2019

To most experts on cyberspace, the Internet of Things (IoT) is an arena in which novel legal solutions are likely to prove dominant. I take the opposite position, even though—or perhaps precisely because—I have never done much specific work in this area. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, I think that any lack of specialized knowledge offers hidden advantages in working through the basic problems at a high enough level of generality to facilitate setting up a comprehensive liability regime even—perhaps especially—in an area undergoing rapid technological change.

Pages

FEATURED PUBLICATION

WORKING PAPERS

RESOURCES

DATA WAREHOUSE
A New Dataset on Mobile Phone Patent License Royalties, September 2016 update (Excel download)
Alexander Galetovic, Stephen Haber, and Lew Zaretzki

LEGISLATION
US Copyright Law
US Code Title 35 – Patents
US Copyright Act of 1976
US Copyright Act of 1790
America Invents Act
Summary

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
US Copyright Office
US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

SCHOLARLY AND ACADEMIC
Glossary of terms
Economics
An Economic Review of the Patent System by Fritz Machlup, 1968
The Economic Theory Concerning Patents for Inventions by Arnold Plant, 1934
Hoover IP2 2014 Summer Teaching Institute reading list
Hoover IP2 2015 Summer Teaching Institute reading list
Hoover IP2 published articles
Principles of Patent Law, sixth edition, by F. Scott Kieff, Pauline Newman, Herbert F. Schwartz, Henry E. Smith
Commercializing Innovation web site

Director
Senior Fellow
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Q&A: Stephen Haber and Naomi Lamoreaux on How the Patent System Spurred Two Centuries of American Innovation

Friday, December 17, 2021
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

In this interview, Hoover Senior Fellow Stephen Haber and Yale University professor of economics and history Naomi Lamoreaux discuss The Battle over Patents: The History and Politics of Innovation (Oxford University Press, 2021), a recently released volume they coedited that features essays from scholars around the world.

News
Analysis and Commentary

Hoover Book Club: Stephen Haber On "The Battle Over Patents: History And Politics Of Innovation"

Monday, December 6, 2021
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

A discussion with Stephen Haber on his latest book, The Battle over Patents: History and Politics of Innovation moderated by Bill Whalen on Monday, December 6 at 10AM PT/1:00PM ET.

Event

Have Information Rules Changed? Revisiting the Network Economy

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Lou Henry Hoover Building, Stanford University

The Market For Regulation In The Internet Of Things

Event

Institutions and Regulation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Friday, May 3, 2019
Brussels, Belgium

Hoover IP² partnered with Liege Competition and Innovation Center and Center for Intellectual Property

Event

Hoover symposium revisits the principles of the network economy

Thursday, April 25, 2019

In 1999, Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian published Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy. In their book, they acknowledged that the global economy was changing dramatically and posited that relatively minor forces in the industrial economy would play a critical role in the network economy. These changes invited their careful reassessment of existing legal, policy, and regulatory institutions, anchored by serious formal theoretical economic reasoning and empirical analysis.

News

Hoover IP² to convene conference on Fourth Industrial Revolution in Brussels

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Fourth Industrial Revolution—the fusion of digital technologies, characterized by big data, artificial intelligence, robotics, smartphones, and autonomous vehicles—will affect how people work, communicate, and travel. Hoover IP² has organized a conference, “Institutions and Regulation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” that addresses a core public policy question: What institutions, policies, rules, and regulations will maximize individual benefits and economic surplus as the Fourth Industrial Revolution takes root?

News

The Market for Regulation in the Internet of Things

Thursday, January 10, 2019 to Friday, January 11, 2019
Lou Henry Hoover Building, Stanford University

The Market for Regulation in the Internet of Things

Event

Young Policymakers Hone Analytical Skills

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The 2018 cohort of the Hoover IP² Summer Institute on the Economics and Politics of Innovation overwhelming endorsed the program that ran from August 5 to August 18, 2018, at Stanford University. In a survey of participants administered at the program’s conclusion, all respondents stated that they were satisfied with the institute and they would recommend it to other students and young professionals. In the words of one participant, “the Summer Institute was one of the best experiences I’ve had in my professional and student life.”

News
Hoover IP2 Logo

Hoover IP² Summer Institute on the Economics and Politics of Innovation

Sunday, August 5, 2018 to Friday, August 17, 2018
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Hoover IP² Summer Institute on The Economics and Politics of Innovation is designed to educate students and young professionals on how to think systematically about regulatory systems and their consequences. Its goal is to equip attendees with analytic tools that are basic to good policymaking. The Summer Institute follows the model of executive education programs organized by business schools. It is an intensive, two‐week long program in which participants are taught by instructors who are experts in the particular subject matter being studied on that particular day. 

Event

The Market for Regulation in the Internet of Things

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

As the 4th Industrial Revolution progresses, the Hoover Institution Working Group on Intellectual Property, Innovation, and Prosperity (Hoover IP²) is looking towards a new horizon of patent policy that is tied to a crucial component of this technological revolution: the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT will be the focus of Hoover IP²’s upcoming conference, the “Market for Regulation in the Internet of Things,” to take place January 10–11, 2019.

News

Pages

Does the US patent system as currently constituted hold up or push forward the commercialization of technological innovations?

Does the US patent system frustrate or facilitate the inventive activities and entrepreneurial processes central to economic growth?

PROJECT SUMMARY

The US patent system is a solution to a delicate balancing act where the complete absence of intellectual property rights or the overly broad specification of those rights can thwart innovation.

Inventors require the means to earn a return on the years spent perfecting an invention. Conversely, patents extending in perpetuity that require licensing and royalty payments would dissuade legitimate use and encourage excessive imitation. Further, a patent system providing property rights to the original patent holder for all future inventions that built on the original idea is non-optimal.

Such an unbalanced system would discourage innovation.

The US patent system addresses the need for balance by:

  • Providing a fixed-term property right for a specific and novel invention

  • Requiring, in turn, that the design features of the invention be widely disseminated so that they enter the public domain once the term of the patent expires

  • Permitting a patentee to exchange or license the patented invention

The Hoover Institution Working Group on Intellectual Property, Innovation, and Prosperity (Hoover IP²) is reviewing the premises of the US patent system and addressing questions of scope, specification, duration, and economic impact of that system.

Hoover IP²'s goals are to:

  • Build a dense network of scholars, from a variety of academic disciplines, who are engaged in research on the US patent system

  • Analyze the implications that may be drawn from those research results

  • Publish the resulting scholarship in peer-reviewed venues

  • Disseminate that scholarship to the larger public

RESEARCH PHILOSOPHY

Underlying the US patent system is a fundamental principle of economics first articulated by Adam Smith more than two centuries ago and empirically demonstrated countless times since:

  • Property rights, appropriately defined, give individuals and firms incentives to trade

  • Trade provides incentives to specialize

  • Specialization is essential for technological innovation

Academic research on the patent system tends to be insular and is specific to certain fields, most particularly law. Support from the Hoover IP² project aims both to broaden the number of researchers in the patent literature and to improve the quality of the causal inferences they draw.