Cliometrica

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 49–78 | Cite as

Did patents of introduction encourage technology transfer? Long-term evidence from the Spanish innovation system

Original Paper

Abstract

In this article, we reflect on how patents of introduction or importation, which compose an institutional policy related to weak IPR systems, could influence long-term international technology transfer. Both theoretically and empirically, the consequences of strengthening IPRs in lagging economies for technology transfer and innovation remain unclear. Although the mainstream literature tends to link stronger patent enforcement with better invention and innovation markets now and in the past, new theoretical and historical evidence supports extreme complexity in the relationship between IPR extension and scope and technological diffusion. For the first time, in this study, we analyze a large series of patents of introduction, which were a common feature of the early stages of almost all patent systems designed to favor technology transfer and innovation above original inventor property rights. Though typically used by pioneers, followers, and latecomers, we know little of how they functioned and their consequences. In this study, we analyze the use of patents of introduction throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in Spain, which was a lagging country on the European periphery. The results demonstrate that this institutional policy could facilitate technology transfer, innovation, and advancement at earlier stages of industrialization. As additional research has demonstrated, such evidence may have serious implications for IPR treatment in both developing and underdeveloped economies.

Keywords

IPR institutions Patents of introduction Technology transfer European periphery 

JEL Classification

N43 N44 N73 N74 O31 O34 O38 

References

  1. Arora A (1995) Licensing tacit knowledge: intellectual property rights and the market for know-how. Econ Innov New Technol 4:41–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beatty E, Sáiz P (2007) Propiedad industrial, patentes e inversión en tecnología en España y México (1820–1914). In: Dobado R, Gómez A, Márquez G (Comp.) México y España ¿historias económicas paralelas? México, Fondo de Cultura Económica, pp 425–467Google Scholar
  3. Bessen J, Maskin E (2009) Sequential innovation, patents, and imitation. Rand J Econ 40(4):611–635CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boldrin M, Levine DK (2008) Against intellectual monopoly. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  5. Boldrin M, Levine DK (2009) Market size and intellectual property protection. Int Econ Rev 50(3):855–881CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Branstetter L, Fisman R, Foley C (2006) Do stronger intellectual property rights increase international technology transfer? Empirical evidence from US firm-level panel data. Quart J Econ 121(1):321–349Google Scholar
  7. Chin JC, Grossman G (1990) Intellectual property rights and North-South trade. In: Jones RW, Kreuger AO (eds) The political economy of North-South trade: essays in honor of Robert E. Baldwin. Basil Blackwell, Cambridge, pp 90–107Google Scholar
  8. Diebolt C, Pellier K (2011) Measuring the ‘ideas’: evidence from a new international patent database. Association Française de Cliométrie, Working Paper Series, n. 4Google Scholar
  9. Epstein SR (2004) Property rights to technical knowledge in pre-modern Europe, 1300–1800. Am Econ Rev Pap Proc 94(2):382–387Google Scholar
  10. Freeman C (1987) Technology and economic performance: lessons from Japan. Pinter Publishers, LondonGoogle Scholar
  11. Gilbert R, Shapiro C (1990) Optimal patent length and breadth. Rand J Econ 21:106–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Goodfriend M, McDermott J (1998) Industrial development and the convergence question. Am Econ Rev 88(5):1277–1289Google Scholar
  13. Griliches Z (1990) Patent statistics as economic indicators. J Econ Lit 28:1661–1707Google Scholar
  14. Grossman G, Lai E (2004) International protection of intellectual property. Am Econ Rev 94(5):1635–1653CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Helpman E (1993) Innovation, imitation, and intellectual property rights. Econometrica 61:1247–1280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hilaire-Perez L (1991) Invention and the state in 18th-century France. Technol Cult 32(4):911–931CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kaplan F (1988) Dickens, a biography. William Morrow, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Kelly M (2009) Technological progress under learning by imitating. Int Econ Rev 50(2):397–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Khan Z (2005) The democratization of invention: patents and copyrights in American economic development. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (N.Y.)Google Scholar
  20. Khan Z (2012) Selling ideas: an international perspective on patenting and markets for technological innovations, 1790–1930. Unpublished paperGoogle Scholar
  21. Khan Z, Sokoloff KL (1998) Patent institutions, industrial organization and early technological change: Britain and the United States, 1790–1850. In: Berg M, Bruland K (eds) Technological revolutions in Europe: historical perspectives. Edward Elgar, Northampton, pp 292–313Google Scholar
  22. Khan Z, Sokoloff K (2004) Institutions and democratic invention in 19th century America. Am Econ Rev 94:395–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Khan Z, Sokoloff KL (2008) Historical perspectives on patent systems in economic development. In: Netanel NW (ed) The development agenda: global intellectual property and developing countries. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 215–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lamoreaux N, Sokoloff K (2001) Market trade in patents and the rise of a class of specialized inventors in the 19th-century United States. Am Econ Rev 91(2):39–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lee JY, Mansfield E (1996) Intellectual property protection and US foreign direct investment. Rev Econ Stat 78(2):181–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lerner J (2000) 150 Years of patent protection. NBER Working Paper Series, 7478Google Scholar
  27. Lerner J (2002) Patent protection and innovation over 150 years. NBER Working Paper Series, 8977Google Scholar
  28. Lerner J (2005) 150 Years of patent office practice. Am Law Econ Rev 7(1):112–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Loscertales J (2002) Deutsche investitionen in Spanien 1870–1920. Franz Steiner, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  30. Lubar S (1991) The transformation of antebellum patent law. Technol Cult 32(4):932–959CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lundvall BÅ (1988) Innovation as an interactive process: from user-producer interaction to the national system of innovation. In: Dosi G, Freeman C, Nelson y RR, Silverger G (eds) Technical change and economic theory. Pinter Publishers, London, pp 349–369Google Scholar
  32. Macleod Ch (1988) Inventing the industrial revolution. The English patent system, 1660–1800. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Moser P (2005) How do patent laws influence innovation? Evidence from nineteenth-century world’s fair. Am Econ Rev 95(4):1214–1236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nagoaka S (2009) Does strong patent protection facilitate international technology transfer? Some evidence from licensing contracts of Japanese firms. J Technol Transf 34:128–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nicholas T (2010) The role of independent invention in U.S. technological development, 1880–1930. J Econ Hist 70(1):57–82Google Scholar
  36. Nicholas T (2011) Independent invention during the rise of the corporate economy in Britain and Japan. Econ Hist Rev 64(3):995–1023Google Scholar
  37. Penrose E (1951) The economics of the international patent system. Johns Hopkins Press, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
  38. Penrose E (1973) International patenting and the less-developed countries. Econ J 83(331):768–786CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Plasseraud Y, Savignon F (1986) L’Etat et l’invention: histoire des brevets. Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle, ParisGoogle Scholar
  40. Puig N, Loscertales J (2001) Las estrategias de crecimiento de la industria química alemana en España: Exportación e inversión directa, 1880–1936. Revista de Historia Económica 19(2):345–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Richter R, Streb J (2011) Catching-up and falling behind: knowledge spillover from American to German machine toolmakers. J Econ Hist 71(4):1006–1031CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sáiz P (1999) Invención, patentes e innovación en la España contemporánea. OEPM, MadridGoogle Scholar
  43. Sáiz P (2002) The Spanish patent system (1770–1907). Hist Technol 24:45–79Google Scholar
  44. Schmookler J (1966) Invention and economic growth. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Mass.)Google Scholar
  45. Smith PJ (2001) How do foreign patent rights affect US exports, affiliate sales, and licenses? J Int Econ 55:411–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tortella T (2000) A guide to sources of information on foreign investment in Spain, 1780–1914. International Institute of Social History, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  47. Waterson M (1990) The economics of product patents. Am Econ Rev 80:860–869Google Scholar
  48. Yang G, Maskus KE (2001) Intellectual property rights, licensing, and innovation in an endogenous product-cycle model. J Int Econ 53:169–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Análisis Económico: Teoría Económica e Historia EconómicaUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations