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Licensing of university inventions: The role of a technology transfer office

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  • Macho-Stadler, Ines
  • Perez-Castrillo, David
  • Veugelers, Reinhilde

Abstract

We provide a theoretical model which helps to explain the specific role of TTOs. Using a framework where firms have incomplete information on the quality of inventions, we develop a reputation argument for the TTO to reduce the asymmetric information problem. Our results indicate that a TTO is often able to benefit from its capacity to pool innovations across research units (and to build a reputation) within universities. It will have an incentive to 'shelve' some of the projects, thus raising the buyer s beliefs on expected quality, which results in fewer but more valuable innovations being sold at higher prices. We explain the importance of a critical size for the TTO in order to be successful as well as the stylized fact that TTOs may lead to fewer licensing agreements, but higher income from innovation transfers.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 25 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 483-510

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:25:y:2007:i:3:p:483-510

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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References

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  1. Nancy T. Gallini & Brian D. Wright, 1990. "Technology Transfer under Asymmetric Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 147-160, Spring.
  2. Alessandro Lizzeri, 1999. "Information Revelation and Certification Intermediaries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 214-231, Summer.
  3. Bronwyn H. Hall, Albert N. Link and John T. Scott., 2000. "Barriers Inhibiting Industry from Partnering with Universities: Evidence from the Advanced Technology Program," Economics Working Papers E00-290, University of California at Berkeley.
  4. Saul Lach & Mark Schankerman, 2004. "Incentives and invention in universities," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4711, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Jerry G. Thursby & Marie C. Thursby, 2002. "Who Is Selling the Ivory Tower? Sources of Growth in University Licensing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(1), pages 90-104, January.
  6. Chan, Yuk-Shee, 1983. " On the Positive Role of Financial Intermediation in Allocation of Venture Capital in a Market with Imperfect Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(5), pages 1543-68, December.
  7. Hellmann, Thomas, 2007. "The role of patents for bridging the science to market gap," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 624-647, August.
  8. Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel & Henderson, Rebecca, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-98, August.
  9. Macho, I. & Martinez-Giralt, X. & Perez-Castrillo, D., 1993. "The Role of Information in Licensing Contract Design," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 216.93, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  10. Richard A. Jensen & Jerry G. Thursby & Marie C. Thursby, 2003. "The Disclosure and Licensing of University Inventions," NBER Working Papers 9734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Adams, James D, 1990. "Fundamental Stocks of Knowledge and Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 673-702, August.
  12. Thursby, Jerry G & Jensen, Richard & Thursby, Marie C, 2001. " Objectives, Characteristics and Outcomes of University Licensing: A Survey of Major U.S. Universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 59-72, January.
  13. Beggs, A. W., 1992. "The licensing of patents under asymmetric information," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 171-191, June.
  14. Friedman, Joseph & Silberman, Jonathan, 2003. " University Technology Transfer: Do Incentives, Management, and Location Matter?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 17-30, January.
  15. Audretsch, David B & Stephan, Paula E, 1996. "Company-Scientist Locational Links: The Case of Biotechnology," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 641-52, June.
  16. Marie Thursby & Richard Jensen, 2001. "Proofs and Prototypes for Sale: The Licensing of University Inventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 240-259, March.
  17. Maryann Feldman & Irwin Feller & Janet Bercovitz & Richard Burton, 2002. "Equity and the Technology Transfer Strategies of American Research Universities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(1), pages 105-121, January.
  18. Rosenberg, Nathan & Nelson, Richard R., 1994. "American universities and technical advance in industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 323-348, May.
  19. Siegel, Donald S. & Waldman, David & Link, Albert, 2003. "Assessing the impact of organizational practices on the relative productivity of university technology transfer offices: an exploratory study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 27-48, January.
  20. Thursby, Jerry G. & Kemp, Sukanya, 2002. "Growth and productive efficiency of university intellectual property licensing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 109-124, January.
  21. Wesley David Sine & Scott Shane & Dante Di Gregorio, 2003. "The Halo Effect and Technology Licensing: The Influence of Institutional Prestige on the Licensing of University Inventions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 478-496, April.
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