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Academic involvement in technology activity: do modes of involvement make a difference? The Flemish case. Julie Callaert, Mariette Du Plessis, Bart Van Looy Research Division INCENTIM – Faculty of Business and Economics ECOOM KU Leuven. Background.

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Academic involvement in technology activity: do modes of involvement make a difference? The Flemish case. Julie Callaert, Mariette Du Plessis, Bart Van LooyResearch Division INCENTIM – Faculty of Business and EconomicsECOOM KU Leuven

background
Background
  • Increased reliance on indicators for mapping and monitoring science-technology interactions in innovation systems
  • Indicators based on “university-owned” patents (i.e. patents with universities acting as assignees) do not reveal the full picture of university involvement in technology development
  • Need for identifying patents that are “university-invented” (and not university-owned)
    • …to grasp a more complete picture of academicpatenting
    • …to allowfor the assessment of differencesbetweenuniversity-owned and university-invented patents
background1
Background
  • Sharp increase in academic patenting has raised suspicions / fears about decreasing quality of university patents  relevance of analyzing patent-value of academic patents
  • Research objective: to study whether modes of involvement in academic patenting matter for patent value
    • Assessment of differences between university-owned and university-invented patents in terms of :
      • ‘Originality’ (or: relatedness to a more diverse knowledge base): extent to which the nature of the research underlying the patent is based on prior art in a broad range of fields
      • ‘Generality’: extent to which the outcome of the research serves as prior art for a broad range of technology fields
      • ‘Impact’: assessed by forward patent citations
data methodology
Data & Methodology
  • Data cover Flemish universities: KU Leuven (KUL), Universiteit Gent (UG), UniversiteitAntwerpen (UA), Universiteit Hasselt (UH) and VrijeUniversiteitBrussel (VUB)
  • Identification of university-owned patents:
    • EPO and USPTO granted patents
    • with at least 1 Flemish university as applicant (< ECOOM sector allocation and name harmonization)
    • application years 1991-2001 (allowing for time window forward citations)
data methodology1
Data & Methodology
  • Identification of university-invented patents:
    • We consider all inventor names on EPO and USPTO granted patents with application years between 1991-2001
    • Personnel data files of the Flemish universities for the years 1990-2000.
    • Matching between personnel surnames and inventor surnames
      • First visual scan to eliminate certain mismatches
      • For the withheld potential matches: search contact details of university researcher
      • Contact researcher to confirm inventorship
      • Only confirmed matches are retained in the database
data methodology3
Data & Methodology
  • Additional information extracted for all withheld university-owned and university-invented (source) patents (Source: PATSTAT version Autumn 2011):
    • Technologydomains of source patent (IPC 1 digit)
    • Applicants and inventors of source patents
    • Backwardcited and forwardciting patents withrespective IPC3digit codes
    • Number of cited non-patent references
data methodology4
Data & Methodology
  • Unit of analysis = patent
  • Dependent Variables: Indicators related to patent ‘value’:
    • Impact (number of forward patent citations) as basic quality indicator

Forward citation window: 9 years

    • Originality:extent to which the nature of the research underlying the patent is based on prior art in a broad range of fields

calculated as 1- the Herfindahl index of technological classes (3 digit IPC) of all backward cited patents

    • Generality: extent to which the outcome of the research serves as prior art for a broad range of technology fields.

calculated as 1- the Herfindahl index of technological classes (3 digit IPC) of all forward citing patents

  • Independent variable: University-owned <> University-invented
  • Control variables:
    • Application year,
    • Technological field (IPC1 digit level),
    • Technological breadth (number of IPC3 digit codes),
    • Patent system (EPO / USPTO)
    • Number of backward patent citations
    • Number of non-patent references
descriptives1
Descriptives

Sector-breakdown of university-invented patents:

  • Sector breakdown of university-owned patents:
  • 19% is co-owned with a non-profit or governmental institute
  • 8% is co-owned with a company
  • 6% is co-owned with an individual
results originality ancova
Results: Originality (ANCOVA)
  • No differencebetweenuniversity-owned and university-invented patents
  • Technologicallybroader patents are more original
  • Positiverelationbetweennumber of patents cited and originality
  • Significant technology domain effects
results generality ancova
Results: Generality (ANCOVA)
  • No differencebetweenuniversity-owned and university-invented patents
  • Highergeneralityfor US patents
  • Highergeneralityfortechnologicallybroader patents
  • Slightlyhighergeneralityforolder patents
  • Slightpositiverelationbetweengenerality and number of forward patent citations
results impact neg binomial regr
Results: Impact (Neg Binomialregr)
  • Universityowned patents have higher impact
  • Higher impact for US patents
  • Positiverelationbetweenbackward patent citations and impact
  • Lower impact fortechnologicallybroader patents
  • Lower impact for patents with more NPRs
  • Significant technolgical domain differences
  • Strong interactionbetween patent system and university-owned versus -invented
results impact neg binomial regr1
Results: Impact (Neg Binomialregr)
  • Higher impact of university-owned patents is significant for EPO patents, notfor USPTO patents
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Are academic patents more ‘valuable’ iffirms are involved? Ourfindings do not support this:
  • No significant difference between university-owned and university-invented patents in terms of “originality” (or rather: diversity in the related knowledge base).
  • No significant difference between university-owned and university-invented patents in terms of generality.
  • The impact of university-owned patents is not lower than the impact of university-invented patents. On the contrary even: for EPO patents, university-owned patents receive significantly more citations than university-invented patents.
  • The volume of university-owned patents has known a large increase over the last decades. Some suspect a decreasing quality. Our findings do not support this (~ no significant decrease of originality / generality / impact of academic patents over time).