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The licensing and selling of inventions by US universities

Federico Caviggioli, Antonio De Marco, Fabio Montobbio () and Elisa Ughetto

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2020, vol. 159, issue C

Abstract: Our study analyzes the patent transactions of the top 58 US universities in the yeas from 2002 to 2010. We find that 37.0% of the patents granted at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have been involved in a form of monetization. Among them, 29.7% have been licensed out, 5.9% have been reassigned to other universities, National Laboratories, federal agencies or non-profit entities, and 1.3% have been transferred to companies. We investigate the patent characteristics associated with each monetization channel (i.e., licensing and outright sale). We also introduce a set of survival model analyses to control for the dynamic nature of the monetization process. The transacted inventions in the portfolio (and, in particular, the licensed ones) are peculiar over several dimensions: they show higher value or technical merit, higher legal robustness, and higher complexity. Licensed patents differ from reassigned ones especially for a higher technological complexity. Patents transferred to companies are not frequent in the university core fields, but the corresponding market for technology is able to select those with higher value and legal robustness.

Keywords: Academic patenting; Patent transactions; Patent licensing; Markets for technology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2020.120189

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