University autonomy ip legislation and academic patenting italy 1996 2006
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University autonomy, IP legislation and academic patenting: Italy, 1996-2006. Francesco Lissoni 1,2 , Michele Pezzoni 2,3 , Bianca Potì 4 , Sandra Romagnosi 5

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University autonomy, IP legislation and academic patenting: Italy, 1996-2006

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University autonomy ip legislation and academic patenting italy 1996 2006

University autonomy, IP legislation and academic patenting: Italy, 1996-2006

Francesco Lissoni1,2, Michele Pezzoni2,3, Bianca Potì4, Sandra Romagnosi5

1 GREThA – Université Bordeaux IV - France2 CRIOS– Università "L. Bocconi", Milan - Italy 3Dept of Economics, Università Milano-Bicocca - Italy

4CERIS-CNR, Rome - Italy5Parco ScientificoUniversità "Tor Vergata", Rome - ItalyAPE-INV Final Conference

Paris, 3-4 / 9 / 2013


University autonomy ip legislation and academic patenting italy 1996 2006

  • Motivation & Research Questions

  • Contribute to recent literature on academic patenting in Italy (Europe) by:

  • What/Any trend in academic patenting?

    • Weight of academic patenting on total domestic patenting

    • Ownership: Universities’ share of IP over academic inventions (vs individuals’, PROs’, and business companies’ share)

  • Exploring links between (1) and two policy changes:

    • The granting of autonomy to universities (incl. financial autonomy), in 1989 (effective kick-off: 1995)

    • The introduction of the professor privilege, in 2001


University autonomy ip legislation and academic patenting italy 1996 2006

  • Reasons for focusing on universities’ autonomy

  • Policy: widespread diffusion of autonomy-granting/enhancing reforms in all Europe (e.g. “loiPecresse” in France, 2007); large universities’ quest for more autonomy (e.g. EUA’s report, 2009)

  • Scholarly research - in sociology: “entrepreneurial university” (Clark, 1993); in economics: autonomy&competition perfomance link (Aghion et al., 2009)

  •  Increasing emphasis on “third mission”: is it materializing? (weight of academic patenting)

  •  Decrease of “block grant” funding  project funding & technology transfer as additional sources of revenues: do universities look at IPRs as a source of revenue?

  •  Changes in academic profession’s status (from civil servants to university employees): are universities seizing professors’ IPR assets?


University autonomy ip legislation and academic patenting italy 1996 2006

  • Reasons for focusing on the professor privilege

  • Policy:

    • wave of abolitions in German-speaking and Scandinavian countries since 2000  inefficient legal institution, standing in the way of commercialization of academic research results

    • BUT Italy has introduced it in 2001  incentive-setting justification BUT contradiction with autonomy granting to universities

  • Scholarly research – some recent advocacy for the privilege (Kenney, 2009)


University autonomy ip legislation and academic patenting italy 1996 2006

Conclusions /1

A. The absolute number of academic patents has increased, but

(i) their weight on total patenting by domestic inventors has not

the share of university-owned acad. patents has increased

B. The probability to observe an academic patent depends on:

- the technology considered

- the science-intensity of research,

- and the characteristics of the local innovation system

After controlling for these determinants:

(iii) the conditional probability to observe an academic patent has declined over time.


University autonomy ip legislation and academic patenting italy 1996 2006

Conclusions /2

C. The rise of university ownership is explained by:

(iv) the increasing share of public vs. private R&D

the increased autonomy of Italian universities introduction of explicit IP regulations

D. The introduction of the professor privilege in 2001 had no impact at all on either trends  opposed and defeated by universities, thanks to their newly gained autonomy


University autonomy ip legislation and academic patenting italy 1996 2006

Methodology for data collection

Name disambiguation of inventors (EPO patent applications)  free inventor database: http://www.ape-inv.disco.unimib.it

Professor-inventor name matching: 3 professors’ cohorts  inventors 1996-2006 [academic patent  patent with at least 1 academic inventors]

Filtering of false matches by: (i) automatic criteria (ii) past surveys (iii) ongoing survey (iv) probability estimates of no-responses


University autonomy ip legislation and academic patenting italy 1996 2006

University autonomy in Italy:

a quick look

***

The professor privilege in Italy:

an even quicker look


University autonomy ip legislation and academic patenting italy 1996 2006

  • University autonomy

  • L.168/1989: basic principles and creation of ad-hoc Ministry

  • Several laws/decrees 1990-1996.

  • Financial autonomy

  • Key block grant: FFO ("FondodiFinanziamentoOrdinario"): starts at 90% of all revenues  automatic decline

  • Universities become free to collect other revenues  great heterogeneity

  • No systematic tie with university-industry technology transfer policy

  • (for a while) GERD grows faster than BERD

  • (Epidemic) diffusionof IP regulations (IP_STATUTE) and TTOs at the university-level

  • Little correlationbetween the twodiffusionprocesses


University autonomy ip legislation and academic patenting italy 1996 2006

Weightof block funds (FFO) and public fundsforscientificreserach on ItalianUniversities’ totale revenues(sources: AQUAMETH, CNSVU)


University autonomy ip legislation and academic patenting italy 1996 2006

Diffusionof IPR statutes and TechTransferOffices in ItalianUniversities(sources: ownelaboration on NETVAL survey; CNSVU survey)


University autonomy ip legislation and academic patenting italy 1996 2006

  • The professor privilege

  • Introduced in 2001

  • Unsolicited, indeed resisted by universities (unsuccessfully at legal level; possibly successfully at IP regulation level)

  • Reformed in 2005 (abolished for research co-sponsored by industry)


University autonomy ip legislation and academic patenting italy 1996 2006

  • Econometric Analysis

  • 2-step Heckman Probit

  • STEP1: probability of an Italian patent to be academic, 1996-2006 as a function of:

  • - time (year dummies)

  • - patent characteristics (IPC class, NPL backward citations, nr inventors)

  • regional innovation system: BERD/GDP; universities’ and PROs’ share of R&D

  • regional university system: diffusion of university IP statutes and TTO; weight of FFO over total revenues;

  •  Estimate of academic patenting trend, conditional on changing environment


University autonomy ip legislation and academic patenting italy 1996 2006

  • STEP2: probability of an academic patent to be owned by the inventor’s university, 1996-2006 as a function of:

  • - time(year dummies)

  • - patent characteristics & regional innovation system

  • university’s characteristics:

  • - fixed effect (dummies)

  • - time-variant:

  • - adoption of IP statute

  • - TTO opening

  • - weight of FFO over total revenues (FFO_RATIO);

  • Estimate of ownership trend, as a function of increasing autonomy & conditional on changing environment

  • Similar estimates for individual & business ownership


University autonomy ip legislation and academic patenting italy 1996 2006

  • KEY RESULTS

  • STEP1 (probability of an Italian patent to be academic)

  • - negative trend after controlling for patent characteristics (less-than expected composition effect)

  • - “classic” results for patent characteristics

  • Positive effect of both BERD/GDP (demand side) and universities’ share of R&D (supply side)

  • No effect of FFO_RATIO


University autonomy ip legislation and academic patenting italy 1996 2006

  • KEY RESULTS

  • STEP2 (probability of university ownership)

  • - positive trend after all controls ( unexplained trend)

  • - “classic” results for patent characteristics

  • Positive effect of universities’ share of R&D (supply side)

  • No effect of FFO_RATIO

  • Positive effect of IP statute adoption vs no effect of TTO opening


University autonomy ip legislation and academic patenting italy 1996 2006

  • Furtherresearch

  • 1) The value of academic patents, by type of ownership

  • Lower? Lissoni and Montobbio (2013) + role of universities in weaker regions

  • Higher? Learningeffect & increasedautonomy ( seeFlemish case)

  • 2) Changesofproperty and marketsforpatents

  • 3) Lessonsforevaluationexercise (e.g. ANVUR)  Whichpatents do count? Whichpatentsshallwecount?

    • University-owned patents are a (non-representative?) subset ofallacademicpatents

    • Counting university-owned patentsmay generate perverse incentives in favourofpatentfiling / aggressive stancestowards business sponsors & faculty

    • Useof public data suchas PatStat / APE-INV


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