Innovation in the life sciences : the impact of intellectual property rights on scientific knowledge diffusion, accumulation and utilization
Author(s)Huang, Kenneth Guang-Lih, 1978-
Impact of intellectual property rights on scientific knowledge diffusion, accumulation and utilization
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.
Fiona E. Murray.
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The impact of intellectual property rights on the production, diffusion and accumulation of scientific knowledge has been a central concern of public policymakers and economists in both public and private institutions, and scholars in management economics and sociology. In this dissertation, I examine the central patenting debates over the role of patenting the life sciences and address a set of interrelated questions: (1) the impact of strategic intellectual property policies of institutions on their cumulative knowledge dissemination, utilization and commercialization; (2) the unique attributes of life science innovations captured by patents generated under different institutional settings; and (3) the degree to which patenting activities impact the rate and trajectories of scientific knowledge accumulation under varying intellectual property conditions. I take as my research setting, the Human Genome Project (HGP) and our mapping of the entire human genome that emerged from the project (as defined in both scientific publications and patents). The HGP was a 13-year, $3.8 billion research effort funded and coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institute of Health, and one of the most significant life science research projects ever undertaken.(cont.) To address the first question, I study the seven key genome centers in the HGP, which produced almost all the genome sequence output and provide an unusually matched and well-controlled natural experiment to examine the impact of different knowledge institutions on the subsequent diffusion of scientific knowledge. To explore the second question, I build on the data set of the population of 4270 gene patents to systematically quantify and analyze the important attributes of these gene-based innovations. Through the construction of a set of validated measures, I specifically characterize the variation in these innovations when made under public versus private institutional settings and compare them to the innovations across broad technology fields from previous studies. To answer the third question, I identify and construct a large-scale, novel data set of 1279 unique patent-paper pairs from the gene patents and apply econometric models to shed light on the degree to which patent grant in the life sciences impacts the rate of follow-on scientific research. I find that publications with matched patent pairs are associated with higher citations on the average. Since only an institutional policy allowing patents results in patents, such policy does not stifle cumulative knowledge dissemination and use. In addition, patents contribute to technological innovation, commercialization and start-up.(cont.) Furthermore, I identified a growing convergence of public/academic and industry innovations in the life sciences especially in terms of their "basicness" and appropriability as characterized by the Pasteur's quadrant, and that variation in institutional setting is associated with differential innovation characteristics. I also find evidence of "technological trajectories", coherence and persistence across various attributes of life science innovations. However, I determine that gene patenting impedes temporal knowledge diffusion and use and decreases citations of paired publications once they are granted and become "visible" to the public, as predicted by the anti-commons effect. I also ascertain that patenting hinders knowledge diffusion and use to a greater degree on private sector authored publications than public ones and for U.S. authored than non-U.S. authored ones, and that corporate patenting has a more adverse impact than public institution patenting. As the first study of its kind to directly test the "patent thicket" conceptualization, I find direct statistical evidence of the adverse effect of "patent thickets" and that the patenting of disease and cancer genes negatively impacts knowledge dissemination and use by follow-on scientists and researchers.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, 2006.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering Systems Division.