Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development

@inproceedings{Levin1987AppropriatingTR,
  title={Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development},
  author={Richard C. Levin and Alvin K. Klevorick and Richard R. Nelson and Sidney G. Winter},
  year={1987}
}
To HAVE the incentive to undertake research and development, a firm must be able to appropriate returns sufficient to make the investment worthwhile. The benefits consumers derive from an innovation, however, are increased if competitors can imitate and improve on the innovation to ensure its availability on favorable terms. Patent law seeks to resolve this tension between incentives for innovation and widespread diffusion of benefits. A patent confers, in theory, perfect appropriability… 
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According to standard analysis, rapid imitation poses a threat to innovation. If an innovation is aggressively copied, price competition may reduce the innovating firm’ supranormal profits to the
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References

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