Introduction

fer and use of technology to those most efficient at exploiting it. However, IP market performance is limited by problems inherent in knowledge exchange itself.

Successful research and development (R&D), especially in such complex systems as biotechnology, often requires access to a variety of techniques that have already been protected by others' patents. Commercializing a biotechnical innovation can then be upheld by a single non-consenting patent owner. More generally, the complexity of intellectual property rights (IPRs) is a source of frustration to those seeking to exploit earlier discoveries and, especially, to carry their benefits to the public. Life science IP markets are, indeed, regarded in some circles to be in a state of failure. A well-functioning IP market should balance the tension between providing innovation incentives and allowing inventors to build upon one another's work. With that in mind, a paradigm for evaluating an IP market is explored, paying special attention to innovations' owner-sellers and user-buyers. The main area of interest is the influence of IP market performance on innovation rate.

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