Design

Patent Races in the real world

rib Working Paper

rib Best Paper Finalist, Druid 2016

Competition between firms to invent and patent an idea, or “patentracing,” has been much discussed in theory, but seldom analyzed empirically. This article introduces an empirical way to identify patent races, providing the first broad – based view of them in the real world. It reveals that patent races are common, particularly in information
– technology fields. The analysis is then extended to identify the causal impact of winning a patent race, using a regression-discontinuity approach. It shows that patent race winners do more follow – on innovation, and
that the follow – on research they do is more similar to what was covered by the patent.

Design

Patent Scope

rib Working Paper

rib Data Sample

This quotation expresses a widely – shared view among patent attorneys that whether one has a patent is much less informative than the scope of the patent. A patent’s value derives primarily from the ability it provides to exclude competitors — a narrow patent would be close to worthless if competitors could still introduce rival products.

However, the scope of a patent’s legal right to exclude is defined by its claims, and patent claims are highly specific to the underlying technology. For this reason, accurate measures of patent scope have long eluded innovation scholars despite scope’s clear economic significance.

Design

Executing on Innovation

This is a new project that focuses on how firms execute on their strategies, particularly around innovation. We do this with more-detailed data on firm goals and strategy execution for a large group of firms than has previously been available.
This work is joint with Don Sull and Lucy Hu.

Materials

Design

Academic Licensing and Patenting

rib Working Paper

rib Best Paper Award, Academy of Management 2012

As university involvement in technology transfer and entrepreneurship has increased, concerns over the patenting
and licensing of scientific discoveries have grown. This paper examines the effect that the licensing of academic
patents has on journal citations to academic publications covering the same scientific research. We analyze
data on invention disclosures, patents, and licenses from the University of California, a leading U.S. academic
patenter and licensor, between 1997 and 2007. We also develop a novel “inventor–based” maximum–likelihood
matching technique to automate and generalize Murray’s (2002) “patent–paper pairs” methodology. We use this
methodology to identify the scientific publications associated with University of California patents and licenses.

Based on a “differences–in–differences” analysis, we find that, in general, licenses are associated with an
increase in journal citations to related scientific publications. The timing of this effect supports recent research
that suggests that academic licenses may act as positive signals of research potential in research fields linked to
the licensed invention (Drivas et al. 2014). In contrast, we find that licensing of research inputs (which we identify through the use of material transfer agreements, or MTAs) depresses citations to related scientific publications.

Our results suggest that, overall, licensing of academic patents does not limit scientific communication linked
to patented academic research. But our findings on the effects of licenses on research inputs, however, raise the
possibility that licensing may restrict the flow of inputs to further scientific research among researchers.