In recent years the work of Mark Rogers, our former colleague and an editor of this journal, was focused in the field of innovation and intellectual property. His work made major contributions in areas such as the impact of R&D and patents, and the value of trademarks and copyright, within firms and economies.  In his honour the Editors of Oxford Economic Papers invite submissions for a Special Issue of the journal on the topic of “Innovation and Intellectual Property” to be edited by Christine Greenhalgh (Oxford), Jonathan Haskel (Imperial College), and Christian Helmers (Carlos III, Madrid).

Papers of between 8,000 and 10,000 words should be submitted by 31 January 2012. Final decisions will be taken in the autumn of 2012, with online pubication late in 2012. Print publication will be in 2013.

Prospective authors should contact the journal administrator, Liz Skalka (, to register their interest and obtain more information on how to submit their papers.

While there has been much analysis of the role of R&D in generating innovation, particularly in larger firms, and of the use of patents to retain profits from investment in intangible assets, there are many neglected as well as new areas of research in this field and many unanswered questions of importance for economic policy. The Guest Editors are inviting authors to submit papers on issues such as:

Theme 1: IP rights and alternative appropriation mechanisms

What determines a firm’s choice between patenting and maintaining an invention secret? How do different IP rights (patents, trademarks, design rights, copyright) interact? What shapes the incentives for firms to rely on bundles of IP rights (patents, trademarks, designs, copyright) instead of single rights to protect products and services? Do open source systems and/or mechanisms to share patent rights such as cross-licensing, patent pools, and patent commons, offer better systems for enhancing innovation than the private ownership of knowledge and licensing of IP rights?

Theme 2: Market structure, standards, and IP

Are larger firms able to use IP rights to inhibit market entry and competition? What impact does IP have on the heterogeneity across industries in terms of market structure and firm size distributions? Is there evidence that patent thickets affect competition? Does an equivalent concept exist for other forms of IP, in particular trademarks (trademark cluttering)? How does standard-setting and the definition of standard-relevant patents affect competition?

Theme 3: Innovation subsidies

Is an R&D tax credit necessary and is it effective? What evidence do we have of positive externalities arising from R&D activity or other innovation investments that would justify a subsidy? If there is to be a credit, what is the best way to structure such a tax instrument? Is there any evidence that such instruments as the patent box are effective in incentivising innovation at a low cost to the public purse?

Theme 4: Markets for technology and the use of IP-protected knowledge by others

How efficient are markets for knowledge and intangible assets? Do stronger patents favour the development of markets for technology? How can policy help improve the efficiency of markets for technology? What affects the licensing behaviour of companies, public research institutes and individual inventors?

Theme 5: IP infringement and enforcement

Does the current IP litigation system allow patent, trademark and copyright owners to effectively enforce their rights? Does it disadvantage smaller companies? To what extent do piracy, illegal copying and counterfeiting diminish the incentives for producing new creative works and products? How should we assess the total social costs and benefits of the system?

Theme 6: The international dimensions of R&D and IP rights

How does harmonization of IP systems, for example in the form of accession to the Patent Cooperation Treaty, affect patenting and innovation? What factors influence the diffusion of innovation within and between countries? Does R&D in one country generate productivity growth and new jobs in this home country, or is the benefit transferred abroad creating income growth and jobs elsewhere?