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Title:Open source software, closed source software or both: impacts on industry growth and the role of intellectual property rights PDF Logo
Authors:von Engelhardt, Sebastian
Swaminathan, Sushmita
Issue Date:2008
Series/Report no.:Discussion papers // German Institute for Economic Research 799
Abstract:There is considerable debate regarding the use of intellectual property rights (IPR) to spur innovation in the software industry. In this paper we focus on the choice of intellectual property right regimes and industry growth. We begin by developing a growth optimal mixture of open source and closed source software. This optimal scenario is then used as a basis to examine the co-existence of open and closed source software within various institutional frameworks ranging from no protection, copyright to patent protection. Such an analysis is beneficial as it enables an objective comparison of the three scenarios under the assumption that both copyrights and patents serve the purpose for which they were designed. Our analysis, based on the existence or absence of spillovers, confirms that a co-existence is growth optimal for the industry. Further, we find that the move from no protection to copyright protection increases the maximum growth rate. However, despite assuming properly functioning patents, the benefits of moving from copyright to patent protection are less clear.
Subjects:Intellectual Property rights
software
open source
spillovers
co-existence
innovative growth
JEL:L17
L86
O31
O34
O41
O43
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:DIW-Diskussionspapiere
Publikationen von Forscherinnen und Forschern des DIW

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