NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Choice between Formal and Informal Intellectual Property: A Literature Review

Bronwyn H. Hall, Christian Helmers, Mark Rogers, Vania Sena

NBER Working Paper No. 17983
Issued in April 2012
NBER Program(s):   IO   LE   PR

We survey the economic literature, both theoretical and empirical, on the choice of intellectual property protection by firms. Our focus is on the tradeoffs between using patents and disclosing versus the use of secrecy, although we also look briefly at the use of other means of formal intellectual property protection.

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This paper was revised on May 30, 2013

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17983

The choice between formal and informal intellectual property: A review, with Christian Helmers, Mark Rogers, and Vania Sena, March 2012, revised May 2013, forthcoming in the Journal of Economic Literature. NBER Working Paper No. 17983.

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