Cross-Licensing and Competition

Date: 2013-09
By: Doh-Shin Jeon (Toulouse School of Economics)
Yassine Lefouili (Toulouse School of Economics)
We study bilateral cross-licensing agreements among N(> 2) firms that engage in competition after the licensing phase. It is shown that the most collusive cross-licensing royalty, i.e. the one that allows the industry to achieve the monopoly profit, is sustainable as the outcome of bilaterally efficient agreements. When the terms of the agreements are not observable to third parties, the monopoly royalty is the unique symmetric bilaterally efficient royalty. However, when the terms of the agreements are public, the most competitive royalty (i.e. zero) can also be bilaterally efficient. Policy implications regarding the antitrust treatment of cross-licensing agreements are derived from these results.
Keywords: Cross-Licensing, Collusion, Antitrust and Intellectual Property
JEL: L44 O33 O34