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Review of Law & Economics

Editor-in-Chief: Parisi, Francesco

Ed. by Cooter, Robert D. / Gómez Pomar, Fernando / Kornhauser, Lewis A. / Parchomovsky, Gideon / Engel, Christoph

3 Issues per year

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.196
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Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.244

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Volume 2, Issue 2 (Sep 2006)


Volume 13 (2017)

Trade Secret vs. Broad Patent: The Role of Licensing

Franco Cugno
  • Università di Torino, Italy
/ Elisabetta Ottoz
  • Università di Torino, Italy
Published Online: 2006-09-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1555-5879.1069

We present a simple model wherein a patents regime is inferior to a trade secrets system, meaning that when private returns from innovation under the two regimes are the same, society will be better off if the innovator chooses not to patent. In our model, trade secret licensing is envisaged and the inferiority of patents depends on the lack of an independent invention defense in patent law, while such a defense currently exists in secrecy and copyright law. Thus, although secrecy is superior to patents, it is not superior to other types of formal intellectual property rights where independent invention is allowed (such as copyrighted software).

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Published Online: 2006-09-08

Citation Information: Review of Law & Economics, ISSN (Online) 1555-5879, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1555-5879.1069. Export Citation

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