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To Be Financed or Not... - The Role of Patents for Venture Capital Financing

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  • Haeussler, Caroline
  • Harhoff, Dietmar
  • Müller, Elisabeth

Abstract

This paper investigates how patent applications and grants held by new ventures improve their ability to attract venture capital (VC) financing. We argue that investors are faced with considerable uncertainty and therefore rely on patents as signals when trying to assess the prospects of potential portfolio companies. For a sample of VC-seeking German and British biotechnology companies we have identified all patents filed at the European Patent Office (EPO). Applying hazard rate analysis, we find that in the presence of patent applications, VC financing occurs earlier. Our results also show that VCs pay attention to patent quality, financing those ventures faster which later turn out to have high-quality patents. Patent oppositions increase the likelihood of receiving VC, but ultimate grant decisions do not spur VC financing, presumably because they are anticipated. Our empirical results and interviews with VCs suggest that the process of patenting generates signals which help to overcome the liabilities of newness faced by new ventures.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 253.

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Date of creation: Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:253

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Keywords: patents; venture capital; intellectual property rights; R&D; biotechnology;

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References

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  1. Joshua S. Gans & David H. Hsu & Scott Stern, 2007. "The Impact of Uncertain Intellectual Property Rights on the Market For Ideas: Evidence From Patent Grant Delays," NBER Working Papers 13234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Gambardella, Alfonso & Harhoff, Dietmar & Verspagen, Bart, 2008. "The Value of European Patents," CEPR Discussion Papers 6848, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Harhoff, Dietmar & Reitzig, Markus, 2004. "Determinants of opposition against EPO patent grants--the case of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 443-480, April.
  8. Bronwyn H. Hall and Adam Jaffe, and Manuel Trajtenberg., 2001. "Market Value and Patent Citations: A First Look," Economics Working Papers E01-304, University of California at Berkeley.
  9. Hall, Bronwyn H & Ziedonis, Rosemarie Ham, 2001. "The Patent Paradox Revisited: An Empirical Study of Patenting in the U.S. Semiconductor Industry, 1979-1995," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 101-28, Spring.
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  13. Baum, Joel A. C. & Silverman, Brian S., 2004. "Picking winners or building them? Alliance, intellectual, and human capital as selection criteria in venture financing and performance of biotechnology startups," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 411-436, May.
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  16. Raphael Amit & Lawrence Glosten & Eitan Muller, 1990. "Entrepreneurial Ability, Venture Investments, and Risk Sharing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(10), pages 1233-1246, October.
  17. David H. Hsu, 2006. "Venture Capitalists and Cooperative Start-up Commercialization Strategy," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(2), pages 204-219, February.
  18. Scott Shane & Toby Stuart, 2002. "Organizational Endowments and the Performance of University Start-ups," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(1), pages 154-170, January.
  19. Macmillan, Ian C. & Siegel, Robin & Narasimha, P. N. Subba, 1985. "Criteria used by venture capitalists to evaluate new venture proposals," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 119-128.
  20. 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.
  21. Dietmar Harhoff & Francis Narin & F. M. Scherer & Katrin Vopel, 1999. "Citation Frequency And The Value Of Patented Inventions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 511-515, August.
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