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The Geographic Reach of Market and Non-Market Channels of Technology Transfer: Comparing Citations and Licenses of University Patents

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  • David C. Mowery
  • Arvids A. Ziedonis
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    Abstract

    The growth of high-technology clusters in the United States suggests the presence of strong regional agglomeration effects that reflect proximity to universities or other research institutions. Using data on licensed patents from the University of California, Stanford University, and Columbia University, this paper compares the geographic 'reach' of knowledge flows from university inventions through two important channels: non-market 'spillovers' exemplified by patent citations and market contracts (licenses). We find that knowledge flows through market transactions to be more geographically localized than those operating through non-market 'spillovers.' Moreover, the differential effects of distance on licenses and citations are most pronounced for exclusively licensed university patents. We interpret these findings as reflecting the incomplete nature of licensing contracts and the need for licensees to maintain access to inventor know-how for many university inventions. Such access appears to be less important for inventions that are non-exclusively licensed (e.g. 'research tools').

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8568.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8568

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    1. Jaffe, A.B. & Trajtenberg, M., 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," Papers, Tel Aviv 14-92, Tel Aviv.
    2. Audretsch, David B & Stephan, Paula E, 1996. "Company-Scientist Locational Links: The Case of Biotechnology," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 641-52, June.
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    7. Ashish Arora, 1995. "Licensing Tacit Knowledge: Intellectual Property Rights And The Market For Know-How," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 41-60.
    8. Paul Almeida & Bruce Kogut, 1999. "Localization of Knowledge and the Mobility of Engineers in Regional Networks," Management Science, INFORMS, INFORMS, vol. 45(7), pages 905-917, July.
    9. Adam B. Jaffe & Michael S. Fogarty & Bruce A. Banks, 1997. "Evidence from Patents and Patent Citations on the Impact of NASA and Other Federal Labs on Commercial Innovation," NBER Working Papers 6044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    11. Acs, Zoltan J & Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1992. "Real Effects of Academic Research: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 363-67, March.
    12. Richard Jensen & Marie Thursby, 1998. "Proofs and Prototypes for Sale: The Tale of University Licensing," NBER Working Papers 6698, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby & Jeff Armstrong, 1994. "Intellectual Capital and the Firm: The Technology of Geographically Localized Knowledge Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
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