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“To Own, or not to Own?” A multilevel analysis of intellectual property right policies' on academic entrepreneurship

Norrin Halilem, Nabil Amara, Olmos-Peñuela, Julia and Muhammad Mohiuddin

Research Policy, 2017, vol. 46, issue 8, 1479-1489

Abstract: The political environment around universities has led them to create an infrastructure to manage academic inventions. While some consider that the advantages of a university entrepreneurial structure outweigh any potential negative effects, others question their detrimental effect on academic scientists’ entrepreneurial behavior. However, this debate remains unresolved as none of these two views have been fully empirically supported. Using multilevel models for a population of 2230 professors in 27 universities in Canada (82 individuals per unit on average), we test the effect of three features of institutional intellectual property right policy characteristics, namely, property rights (ownership regime), control rights (obligation to disclose and option to commercialize), and income-sharing schemes (when commercialization involves the university or an individual inventor) on two commercial behaviors of faculty members, namely, formal commercialization (patent and spinoff creation), and informal commercialization (consulting and commercial agreement). Our results suggest that contrary to most of the literature, academic inventors’ behavior is influenced not by the invention ownership regime but by the control rights in place and the sharing of income between the university and the academic inventors. The findings have some implications for the importance of an ownership regime and the ineffectiveness of institutional policies which create contradictory motivations for academic entrepreneurs. It suggests some directions for future research using multilevel models.

Keywords: Intellectual property rights policies; Academic entrepreneurship; Multilevel models (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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