I am a PhD candidate at Georgia Tech, interested in innovation strategy and public policy. My research is at the intersection of management, economics and public policy. I am currently on the job market and will receive my degree by May 2019.

In my thesis, I focus on the co-creation of business policy and firm strategy. I examine how firms and the courts jointly shape patent policy and how in turn those policies shape firms’ innovative activities.

In my job market paper, I examine the relation between patent strength and innovation. Patent strength being what is affected by patent policy. I leverage a shock that weakened patents — in their ability to provide patent holders with exclusivity over knowledge (U.S. Supreme Court decision on eBay Inc. v. MercExchange 2006). First, I conduct a qualitative analysis of the court documents filed by 151 entities, I examine which types of firm argue that strong patents foster or hinder innovation. The arguments made by the stakeholders mirror a key debate in the literature: “what is the relation between patent strength and innovation?” As a second step, I conduct a quantitative test to verify the existence of the mechanisms evoked by each side and what their consequences are in terms of firm innovation. My empirical strategy consists in examining the reaction of French firms who vary in technology areas and capabilities, have high stakes in the US market (28% of their patents filed in the US) but are not part of the US policy-making process to ensure that the shock can be considered as exogenous. Using census data of the entire population of French firms matched with their patents from Patstat (39,420 firms) to obtain a panel data set over the period 1995-2010, I find empirical evidence supporting an increase in R&D investments and innovation when patents are weaker. The underlying mechanisms depend on firms’ capabilities and strategy. Large firms in complex product industries (e.g. IT industry), who argue in favor of weaker patents, benefit from being less vulnerable when facing patent holders. As a result, R&D investments are less risky and firms have lower costs associated with defensive patenting portfolios. On the other hand, firms in discrete product industries (e.g. chemicals) and entities relying on technology transfer (e.g. universities, high-tech small firms) argued against weakening patents. Qualitative evidence suggests that this group of firms expects to be negatively impacted by the loss of appropriability over their R&D investments when patents are weaker. Nevertheless, they increase R&D investments. Among the potential explanations, I find evidence suggesting that firms adapt to the decrease in appropriability through a shift in the composition in their innovative activities towards inventions that have higher impact, are more novel, and rely on a higher proportion of R&D investments in research as opposed to development.

The findings from my job market paper show that patent policy is not neutral: firms are affected in different ways depending on their own capabilities and strategy. Therefore, firms have an incentive to participate in the policy-making process and engage in non-market strategies to shape the environment to their advantage. A second part of my dissertation exploits this setting to examine the strategies used to increase the legitimacy of the information they provide to influence policymakers. I scrape the court documents for all patent-related Supreme Court cases in the US over the period 2000-2015. I obtain a panel data set of over 1200 participants, among which half are firms or associations of firms, and I trace the arguments firms make based on the legal precedents they cite.

The potential intellectual impact of my dissertation and its relevance for practitioners have been recognized by an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant (#1759991) to the Science of Science and Innovation Policy (SciSIP) program.

Prior to joining Georgia Tech, I worked in management consulting on projects with telecom and media operating companies, and national regulatory authorities, mostly in Europe. Some of the projects I was involved in include the development of pricing models for European regulatory authorities (ARCEP, Ofcom, BIPT), financial and technical due diligence of telecom and media companies for potential M&A, and support in planning national plans of broadband deployment in developing countries. Other professional experiences include internships at the French Telecommunications and Posts regulatory authority (ARCEP, French equivalent of the FCC) and at a major investment banking company. I completed an undergraduate degree in Mathematics, and graduate degrees in I.T. engineering and in applied economics.