Patent Protection, Startup Takeovers, and Open Innovation

In Uck Park*, Andreas Panagopoulos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
182 Downloads (Pure)


Open innovation largely relies on startup innovators transferring their R&D to incumbent firms. Yet, such innovators are at a disadvantage when faced with incumbents holding patent portfolios, raising the question why do such Lilliputian firms choose to innovate? In view of this, we study the impact of patent protection on the innovation incentives of startup firms in a dynamic model where an incumbent faces a sequence of potential startups and the incumbent’s chance of winning an infringement lawsuit increases with the size of its patent portfolio. It is shown that open innovation–style takeover deals generate extra benefits for the incumbent via its enhanced future bargaining positions, a part of which accrues to the current startup as an increased bargaining share, justifying R&D activity that would not have taken place otherwise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-64
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of the Economics of Business
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2019

Structured keywords

  • ECON Microeconomic Theory


  • Open Innovation
  • Patent Portfolios
  • Startup Takeovers


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