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.