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Do patents help or hinder innovation?

Geoff Riley

2nd October 2016

Innovation matters because there are limits to simply copying or imitating what rival firms have managed to achieve. Do patents help or hinder innovation?

Patents may prevent other companies from building on technological developments and therefore hold back the innovative process. Would compulsory licensing of patents be an appropriate policy response in this situation and help small start-ups in particular?

Innovation Lessons from Bell Labs

Bell Labs were the biggest innovators of their time, but did their patents block smaller companies from building upon this? Monika Schnitzer (University of Mannheim) explains how requiring Bell Labs to license their patents and forcing them to give up monopoly power caused more innovation.

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

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