Contracting for technology transfer: patent licensing and know-how in Brazil

Catalina Martinez & Pluvia Zuniga

#2016-065

Using contract level data, we study the relation between the inclusion of know-how in cross-border patent licensing agreements and the contractual terms used by firms to deal with moral hazard risks. We use official data on international technology contracts with patent licensing terms registered by affiliated and unaffiliated parties before the Department of Technology Transfer of the National Institute of Intellectual Property (INPI) in Brazil between 1996 and 2012. We find that contracts between unaffiliated parties involving know-how transfer show distinctive contractual and technology features compared to the rest: (i) they involve younger but lower quality technologies (compared to contracts without know-how); (ii) they are more prone to up front lump-sum payments than royalty or combined payments (royalty and fixed); and (iii) they are more likely to be accompanied by the licensing of other IPRs, in addition to patents, such as trademarks.

Keywords: patent licensing, know-how, trademarks, technology contracts, Brazil

JEL Classification: OD32, D23, L24