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What Characterizes Firms' Academic Patents? Academic Involvement in Industrial Inventions in Sweden

Daniel Ljungberg and Maureen McKelvey

Industry and Innovation, 2012, vol. 19, issue 7, 585-606

Abstract: This paper investigates the characteristics and importance of academic involvement in industrial invention processes by comparing firms' academic and non-academic patents. In contrast to previous research, this paper analyses firm-owned patents, which provides insight into the characteristics and relative importance of inventions resulting from university--industry collaboration. The empirical analysis in this paper is based on a database of Swedish academic patents. Our results indicate that academic involvement mainly takes place in inventions highly related to firms' technology bases. The findings moreover show that firms' academic patents, as compared to their non-academic patents, have lower importance in firms' core technological fields but higher importance in their marginal fields. We provide an interpretation of these results, suggesting that firm-owned academic patents largely result from “demand pull” rather than “science push” and that firms involve academics mainly for problem-solving activities in their core technological fields.

Date: 2012
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DOI: 10.1080/13662716.2012.726808

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