The economic system is generally understood to operate on the premise of exchange. The most important factor in economic development has always been technology, as a way to expand a limited resource base. Such increase in technology and knowledge is generally accepted by economists, but the mechanisms of exchange through which this happens are much less studied. Generally, a static analysis of product exchange, incorporating new technology, has been undertaken.
This book explores the transition of trade in ideas from an exchange largely within firms and nations to an exchange between firms and nations. This process has been going on since the beginning of the patent system, where importing (trading) technology was made policy in 1474, more than 500 years ago. However, during the past 25-30 years, a growth in exchange of technology between specialized firms, cooperating based on patent licensing, has been phenomenal, with annual licensing transactions exceeding a trillion dollars, not counting value of cross-licensing. Such specialized exchange has been seen in history but not at this scale and level of coordination.
Using principles of experimental economics, the author investigates the licensing contract and mechanisms of exchange (rules of trade) as this exchange moves towards organized markets with prices. A key issue concerns the effect of introducing demand side bidding, through which the patent system introduces specialization and multiple use of the same technology in different new products, thus expanding the use of technology a firm has to more actors, products, and consumers. The risk and uncertainty in market access for cheaper, better and unique products and services are reduced through new and competitive technology.
Questions raised are related to the "optimal" integration of information and rules in dynamic exchange of patents through institutio
Pioneering view of the patent system as an exchange system, with economic, sociological, and policy implications
Demonstrates, state-of-the-art applications of economic experimental design, procedure, and software
Challenges standard "non-trade" view of technology and economic development