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    Trade in Ideas as New Development Policy: Multi-country Pilot-study funded by Sweden on Economic Potential for Developing Nations Licensing Own Patents

    How do can you leverage the recent human capital formation that has taken place in many developing countries in the last two decades?

    This pilot-study will investigate the economic potential of markets in patent as instrument of development, leveraging national inventors, licensing to the world markets.

    16 countries with high human capital formation, some patenting, royalty licensing and “open access economy”, have been invited to join this pilot. Chile, Azerbaijan and Kenya have now joined and several others are discussing with their governments to join.

    A video-workshop will be held with 10+ companies and 2-3 policy making agencies following a survey of the actual terms-of-trade achieved for technology from “the south”. This will be a first indication of the economic potential of such trade between developed and developing nations alike. A level playing field is the goal allowing a third leg of development activity; product, services and ideas, protected by the patent system, creating trade in ideas as new development policy.

    The study is funded by Sweden.

    Please find enclosed some background information on the study and links to the patent offices in the nations participating in the study. The study began in 2017 and is planned to end by June 2018.

    If you are interested in participating in this study please contact at:


    Presentation of study by Chile’s IP Office


    Azerbaijan Patent Office

    Kenya IP Office




    Background Document: Presentation of Pilot Study & Invitation

    The Swedish IA Gap&Space for Competitiveness in a Global World

    The Swedish IA Gap&Space for Competitiveness in a Global World: Complacency in Economic – Social – Environment agen-das and strategy to inform new policy.

    Leif Edvinsson                       Eskil Ullberg                 Carol Lin

    Final draft for report edited by Sarah Lidé

    November 30, 2017

    Report: The Swedish IA Gap&Space.

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

    Trade in Ideas as New Development Policy – WTO Trade Dialogue Series June 2017

    Presentation of Trade In Ideas as New Development Policy at WTO Trade Dialogue Series in 2017. Eskil Ullberg, Adjunct Professor, George Mason University (full lecture)

    Short version (3min)

    IMIT 2017-

    Senior Reserach Scholar at the Institute for Management of Innovation and Technology (IMIT) from July 2017-

    Two major projects are run within this institute, intimately relate to the Trade In Ideas concept.

    Speech at WTO: Trade in Ideas as New Development Policy

    Trade Dialogues Lecture Series

    As part of its Trade Dialogues Series, the WTO will be inviting leading technical experts to share their insights with WTO members and the broader trade community on important economic and policy developments.

    I will be discussing the role of organized markets in facilitating this global trade in ideas as well as the implications for policy making in the area of intellectual property, education, and taxation. The talk will be recorded an available at here and on Youtube (2 min short version, full lecture).


    Institutions, not only enforcement, key to generating growth through patent market coordination

    Why are inventors willing to take more risk in searching for new, more productive technology? This article examines coordination between inventors inventing and innovators in need for and using new patented technology, using an economic experiment.

    The results indicate that the institutional arrangements matter more than enforcement in this learning process. In particular increased flexibility in demand side bidding yields higher willingness to search. This has implications on patent trade policy: Both the institutional and enforcement has to be considered in order to get a good selection process of what inventions to further invest in.

    Read article for free here or download from Journal of the Knowledge Economy here.

    Risk Management and the strategic role of services and IP in today’s economy

    How should services be priced? This article outlines five steps towards a service logic driven by changes in IP and deregulation of major economic activities.

    Article was published in Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance in 2002 and  can be found at Geneva Associations.

    Ullberg, 2002, Risk Management

    Transatlantic workshop on patent markets with EC – key issues discussed

    Several fundamental issues were discussed during a one-day trans-atlantic workshop in Brussels on March 3, 2016, with representatives from top patent licensing firms in the world and EU as well as US policy makers. The aim was to identify current and emerging issues in the patent market that could merit further research efforts funded by agencies – and firms – promoting innovation.

    – Key topics were (i) incentives to take on the high risks in inventions – mechanisms to manage them -, (ii) basic awareness and knowledge building among politicians, SMEs, academia and general public on the value of inventions and the relation of the patent system as well as (iii) a continued professional dialogue at practitioner and policy level. As one participant commented: “Inventions are important, but we are beginning to loose the [policy] battle”.

    – Most importantly the general awareness problem on mechanismsencouraging risk taking, the value of inventions and the patent system merited topics for further investigation and policy discussion.

    – Markets in patent (transactions not only protection four) would be such an area that would help firms manage their risks better by providing a broader and deeper market access for patented technologies.

    Summary report

    A summary report is included with some tentative conclusion and  focus for further investigation.

    Workshop 2

    A follow-up transatlantic workshop is planned, focusing on SME-exchange in patents (with large firms and other SMEs). This workshop is tentatively planned to be in the USA.

    for more info, and to follow this project please take a look at

    Eskil Ullberg, PhD



    Summary report: EC Workshop – How patent market can create growth

    Workshop report: Report of discussion with patent market practitioners Brussels, 3 March 2016

    Workshop background document: How can patent markets enable growth – State-of-Play 2016

    How can Patent Markets Enable Growth? – a Trans-Atlantic Workshop with the European Commission and Vinnova

    A transatlantic workshop has been organised together with the European Commission with global corporate practitioners, policymakers from EC/SME & GROWTH and the US Trade Commission, European and other Patent Offices, and selected experts in the field of patenting, licensing among others, to identify and prioritize issues towards a market in patents. Special focus will also be given to SME/individual firms and new markets, especially North-South and emerging markets. The results of the workshop will be considered as input for further studies and policy proposals in this area. The workshop will be held in Brussels on March 3, 2016.

    If you are interested in the follow-up information from this event, please contact by email or sign up for the ullberg report. There may also be the opportunity to listen in on a webcast for select interested parties.

    Eskil Ullberg, PhD


    What are the issues?

    The international trade flows have changed direction in the last few years, where the South is now the net buyer of the products and services from the North[1]. This has happened thanks to opening of markets, trade negotiations, better economic policies, etc. However, when it comes to technology exchange with patents, the markets are not that developed. An intense focus on enforcement has dominated the discussions, in a one-sided protection agenda, more than trade, creating a litigation market with courts clearing prices. This appears to be similar at national levels between firms, especially large versus SME/individual or rent seeking firms abusing the patent system, hindering efficient trade in ideas between firms. To remedy this deficiency we are organizing a workshop focusing on transactions, in particular the mechanisms for exchange in patented technology. This is not only beneficial for today’s larger firms already engaged in this market but SME/individuals and the new markets, especially the mentioned North-South exchange and emerging markets.

    Experimental research on markets in patents indicate that a more impersonal, or open, market in patents with demand side bidding and trading intermediaries may double the use of patented technology in the economy compared to today, i.e. a development in economic efficiency.

    The workshop may therefore bring forth valuable input on issues – and priorities – from practitioners, patent offices and EU and US policy makers, on how to facilitate such an open market in patents, aiming at creating a strategic transatlantic initiative to inform policy.

    [1] Ref. to Michael Spence in 2010/2011. In GDP terms emerging markets and the developing world are slightly more than 50% of world GDP. GDP growth rate Q3 2015 of emerging markets 4.2% (with China at 6.2%) and developing world 1.6%, indicating that this trend will continue for years if not decades or a century given a population of 6b today compared to 1b of the North. Source: JP Morgan.

    [2] See  Ullberg, Trade in Ideas (2012) : Chapter 3 (performance and behavioral properties of patent market institutions), 4 (coordination between specialized firms through markets with prices as signaling of technology investments) and 6 (policy conclusions and proposals).

    Stanford University Conference on US Patent System



    This conference is a part of  the Hoover IP2 Working Group, working to review the premises of the US patent system and to address questions of scope, specification, duration, and economic impact of that system.  The working group two very fundamental questions: Does the US patent system hold up or push forward the commercialization of technological innovations? and Does the US patent system frustrate or facilitate the inventive acivities and entrepreneurial processes central to economic growth?

    During the conference held Monday–Tuesday, January 11–12, 2016 as services working papers were presented and discussed. I had the great honor to present a paper on the fundamental issue of trust and patents markets entitled: “The Language of Trust and Reciprocity in Patent Markets: A Sociological Analysis of Property Rights on Messages Resolving Uncertainty in Exchange in Ideas”.

    The papers can be found at:

    Hoover paper logo

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    Twitter @TradeInIdeas or @EskilUllberg

    Emails from this Report (subscribe below).

    The Ullberg Report


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