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Academic Patenting in Europe: A Reassessment of Evidence and Research Practices

Francesco Lissoni

Industry and Innovation, 2013, vol. 20, issue 5, 379-384

Abstract: European universities and public research organizations (PROs) contribute substantially to their countries' overall inventive activity, but are far from being exclusive owners of the related intellectual property. Business companies and, to a lesser extent, individuals appear to play a major, sometime dominant role. This special issue offers a selection of papers addressing issues of measurement, commercialization, and ownership of such academic patents in Europe. Measuring the extent of the phenomenon requires identification of the academic inventors, a data-mining operation that imposes technical as well as procedural challenges for social scientists. The heterogeneity of ownership models poses the question of whether ownership is related to the patents' quality and/or successful commercialization. Further questions concern the identity and business models of firms holding academic patents in their portfolios, and the economic and legal factors that explain a university's or PRO's choice of whether to maintain the intellectual property of its staff's inventions. The papers in this special issue discuss these topics at length and rely on data collected following a joint methodology, made available to readers for use and extension.

Date: 2013
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