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To invent and let others innovate: a framework of academic patent transfer modes

Charlotta Dahlborg (), Danielle Lewensohn (), Rickard Danell () and Carl Johan Sundberg ()
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Charlotta Dahlborg: Karolinska Institutet
Danielle Lewensohn: Karolinska Institutet
Rickard Danell: Umeå University
Carl Johan Sundberg: Karolinska Institutet

The Journal of Technology Transfer, 2017, vol. 42, issue 3, 538-563

Abstract: Abstract Numerous papers on university patenting and commercialisation have mapped the patent ownership landscape at a variety of academic institutions. Despite these efforts, there is still a scarcity in empirical evidence in terms of how patented academic inventions are commercialised over time. This paper extends previous work on academic commercialisation by tracing patent ownership transfers longitudinally. We develop a conceptual framework of academic patent transfer modes that distinguishes between patents transferred through the efforts of the researchers themselves (autonomous mode), through university support intermediaries (bridge mode) or via companies (corporate mode). The framework makes it possible to record knowledge transfer between academic inventors and external innovators at the time of invention (t0), patent filing (t1), and any subsequent time point (tn). Our results indicate that a majority of the patented inventions are transferred from the inventors to outside-of-academe entities. The results show that small and medium-sized companies are the largest absorbers of academic patents. The findings have potential implications for benchmarking of universities and development of more targeted internal innovation support.

Keywords: Technology transfer; Academic patenting; Innovation; University benchmarking; Patent ownership transfer (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O33 O34 O38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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The Journal of Technology Transfer is currently edited by Albert N. Link, Donald S. Siegel, Barry Bozeman and Simon Mosey

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