Behavioral Economics Seminar: Patents versus Trade Secrets: An Experimental Approach

The Behavioral Economics group at IFRO invite to open seminars with a range of subjects within Behavioral Economics.

Karin Beukel, Assistant Professor at IFRO, will give the presentation Patents versus Trade Secrets: An Experimental Approach.

The trade-off between patents and trade secrets is central to the understanding of how firms profit from technological innovation. However, studies examining this trade-off mainly rely on secondary survey data at firm level or realized patent applications disregarding trade secrets.
Despite significant contributions, these studies provide at best indirect evidence of the alternative appropriation modes, while they largely ignore the consistent finding that firms rate trade secrets more important than patents. At the same time, the 200% increase in patent applications worldwide the last decade is hard to understand, it could be explained either by an increase in technological innovative output or by a change in appropriation strategy - firms shifting from trade secrets to patents.
To help shed light on these issues, this study will use an experimental approach to investigate the factors influencing managers’ evaluation of patents or trade secrets to appropriate returns from technological innovation.

For further information, contact:
Toke Reinholt Fosgaard: tf@ifro.ku.dk
Kennet Christian Uggeldahl: kcu@ifro.ku.dk