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Abstract  

Integrating data from three independent data sources––USPTO patenting data, Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) and the Times Higher Education Supplement’s World University Ranking (WUR), we examine the possible link between patenting output and the quantity and quality of scientific publications among 281 leading universities world-wide. We found that patenting by these universities, as measured by patents granted by the USPTO, has grown consistently faster than overall US patenting over 1977–2000, although it has grown more slowly over the last 5 years (2000–2005). Moreover, since the mid-1990s, patenting growth has been faster among universities outside North America than among those within North America. We also found that the patenting output of the universities over 2003–2005 is significantly correlated with the quantity and quality of their scientific publications. However, significant regional variations are found: for universities in North America, both the quantity and quality of scientific publications matter, but for European and Australian/NZ universities, only the quantity of publications matter, while for other universities outside North America and Europe/Australia/NZ, only quality of publications matter. We found similar findings when using EPO patenting data instead of USPTO data. Additionally, for USPTO data only, the degree of internationalization of faculty members is found to reduce patenting performance among North American universities, but to increase that of universities outside North America. Plausible explanations for these empirical observations and implications for future research are discussed.

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Abstract  

This paper reviews the literature on the concerns stemming from university patenting and licensing activities. Scholars investigated threats to scientific progress due to increasing disclosure restrictions; changes in the nature of the research (declining patents’ and publications’ quality, skewing research agendas toward commercial priorities, and crowding-out between patents and publications); diverting energies from teaching activity and reducing its quality. A small section explores problems lamented by industry. Each of these issues is presented and discussed, based on 82 papers published from 1980 to 2006. Some suggestions for further research conclude the essay.

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Scientometrics
Authors: Joaquín M. Azagra-Caro, Alfredo Yegros-Yegros, and Fragiskos Archontakis

Summary  

We estimate the determinants of university patents by route in Spain. National patents are an indicator of R&D efforts when we focus on the region, but not of how regions organize their university or joint research structure. International patents are a stronger indicator of R&D efforts, so they express confidence in the potential of the patent. Neither set is an indicator of proximity to the region's competencies in technologies other than for production-intensive sectors, so they will not always foster regional technology transfer. Since the driving forces of national and international patents differ, the use of both is recommended.

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Scientometrics
Authors: Joaquín Azagra-Caro, Fragiskos Archontakis, and Alfredo Yegros-Yegros

Abstract  

The main objective of this contribution is to test whether university patents share common determinants with university publications at regional level. We build some university production functions with 1,519 patents and 180,239 publications for the 17 Spanish autonomous regions (NUTS-2) in a time span of 14 years (1988–2001). We use econometric models to estimate their determinants. Our results suggest that there is little scope for regional policy to compensate the production of patents vs. publications through different university or joint research institutional settings. On the contrary, while patents are more reactive to expenditure on R&D, publications are more responsive to the number of researchers, so the sustained promotion of both will make it compatible for regions their joint production. However, standing out in the generation of both outputs requires costly investment in various inputs.

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Abstract  

University patenting has been heralded as a symbol of changing relations between universities and their social environments. The Bayh–Dole Act of 1980 in the USA was eagerly promoted by the OECD as a recipe for the commercialization of university research, and the law was imitated by a number of national governments. However, since the 2000s university patenting in the most advanced economies has been on the decline both as a percentage and in absolute terms. In addition to possible saturation effects and institutional learning, we suggest that the institutional incentives for university patenting have disappeared with the new regime of university ranking. Patents and spin-offs are not counted in university rankings. In the new arrangements of university–industry–government relations, universities have become very responsive to changes in their relevant environments.

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Summary  

This paper focuses on the Danish Act No. 347 of 1999, which granted IPRs on inventions at public research institutions to the institutions themselves. After summarizing the situation in Denmark prior to the new law, I describe the Act's main features and then I turn my attention to the solutions adopted by Danish academia to face the opportunities and challenges posed by the new situation. Finally, using a unique dataset including all patents filed by Danish universities from 1982 to 2003, I describe university patenting activity.

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Abstract  

This paper reports results from a survey of 208 Italian faculty members, inventors of university-owned patents, on their motivation to get involved in university patenting activities, the obstacles that they faced, and their suggestions to foster the commercialization of academic knowledge through patents. Findings show that respondents get involved in patenting activities to enhance their prestige and reputation, and look for new stimuli for their research; personal earnings do not represent a main incentive. University-level patent regulations reduce the obstacles perceived by inventors, as far as they signal universities’ commitment to legitimate patenting activities. Implications for innovation policies are discussed.

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Abstract  

Patenting and licensing is not only a significant method of university knowledge transfer, but also an important indicator for measuring academic R&D strength and knowledge utilization. The methodologies of quantitative and qualitative analysis, including a special patent h-index indicator to assess patenting quality, were used to examine university patenting worldwide. Analysis of university patenting from 1998 to 2008 showed a significant overall global increase in which Chinese academia stands out: most of the top 20 universities in patenting in 2008 were in China. However, a low rate of utilization of Chinese academic patents may have roots in: (1) university research evaluation system encourages the patent production more, rather than the utilization; (2) problems in the formal mechanisms for university technology transfer and licensing, (3) industry’s limited expectation and receptive capabilities and/or (4) a mismatch between the interests of the two institutional spheres. The next action to be taken by government, university and industry in China will be to explore strategies for improving academic patent quality and industry take-up.

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Abstract  

This paper explores the relationship between patenting and publishing in the field of nanotechnology for Chinese universities. With their growing patents, Chinese universities are becoming main technological source for nanotechnology development that is extremely important in China. Matching names of patentees to names of research paper authors in Chinese universities, we find 6,321 authors with patents, i.e. inventor–authors, and 65,001 without any patent. Research performance is measured using three indicators—publication counts, total citations and h-index received by each researcher. It is found that research performance of authors who are also inventors holding patents is better than that of those authors who do not have a patent, and that most of high quality research is performed by inventor–authors. Our findings indicate that patent-oriented research may produce better results.

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Abstract  

This paper gives an overview of quantitative approaches used to study the science/technology linkage. Our discussion is informed by a number of theoretical approaches that have emerged over the past few years in the area of innovation studies emphasizing the exchange of actors in innovation system and a shift in the division of labour between publicly funded basic research and industrial development of technology. We review the more quantitative literature on efforts made to study such linkage phenomena, to which theorizing in the science policy area has attributed great importance. We then introduce a typology of three approaches to study the science/technology linkage - patent citation, industrial science, and university patenting. For each approach, we shall discuss merits and possible disadvantages. In another step we illustrate them using results from studies of the Finnish innovation system. Finally, we list key limitations of the informetric methods and point to possible hybrid approaches that could remedy some of them.

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