Exploring the Patent Explosion

Exploring the Patent Explosion This paper looks more closely at the sources of patent growth in the United States since 1984. It confirms that the increase is largely due to U.S. patenters, with an earlier surge in Asia, and some increase in Europe. Growth has taken place in all technologies, but not in all industries, being concentrated in the electrical, electronics, computing, and scientific instruments industries. It then examines whether these patents are valued by the market. We know from survey evidence that patents in these industries are not usually considered important for appropriability, but are sometimes considered necessary to secure financing for entering the industry. I compare the market value of patents held by entrant firms to those held by incumbents (controlling for R&D). Using data on publicly traded firms 1980--1989, I find that in industries based on electrical and mechanical technologies the market value of entrants' patents is positive in the post-1984 period (after the patenting surge), but not before, when patents were relatively unimportant in these industries. Also, the value of patent rights in complex product industries (where each product relies on many patents held by a number of other firms) is much higher for entrants than incumbents in the post-1984 period. For discrete product industries (where each product relies on only a few patents, and where the importance of patents for appropriability has traditionally been higher), there is no difference between incumbents and entrants. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Technology Transfer Springer Journals

Exploring the Patent Explosion

The Journal of Technology Transfer, Volume 30 (2) – Dec 30, 2004

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 by Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Subject
Business and Management; Business and Management, general; Innovation/Technology Management; Industrial Organization; Management; Commercial Law; Economic Growth
ISSN
0892-9912
eISSN
1573-7047
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10961-004-4356-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper looks more closely at the sources of patent growth in the United States since 1984. It confirms that the increase is largely due to U.S. patenters, with an earlier surge in Asia, and some increase in Europe. Growth has taken place in all technologies, but not in all industries, being concentrated in the electrical, electronics, computing, and scientific instruments industries. It then examines whether these patents are valued by the market. We know from survey evidence that patents in these industries are not usually considered important for appropriability, but are sometimes considered necessary to secure financing for entering the industry. I compare the market value of patents held by entrant firms to those held by incumbents (controlling for R&D). Using data on publicly traded firms 1980--1989, I find that in industries based on electrical and mechanical technologies the market value of entrants' patents is positive in the post-1984 period (after the patenting surge), but not before, when patents were relatively unimportant in these industries. Also, the value of patent rights in complex product industries (where each product relies on many patents held by a number of other firms) is much higher for entrants than incumbents in the post-1984 period. For discrete product industries (where each product relies on only a few patents, and where the importance of patents for appropriability has traditionally been higher), there is no difference between incumbents and entrants.

Journal

The Journal of Technology TransferSpringer Journals

Published: Dec 30, 2004

References

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