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Why Challenge the Ivory Tower? New Evidence on the Basicness of Academic Patents-super-

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  • Dirk Czarnitzki
  • Katrin Hussinger
  • Cédric Schneider

Abstract

While often presumed in academic literature and policy discussions there is little empirical evidence showing that academic patents protect more basic inventions than corporate patents. This study provides new evidence on the basicness of academic patents using German professor patents linked to patent opposition data from the European Patent Office (EPO). Patent oppositions are the most important mechanism by which the validity of patents filed at the EPO can be challenged. Controlling for patent value, asymmetric information and diverging expectations between the opposition parties, the likelihood of a potentially litigious situation and the relative costs of opposition versus settlement, we find that academic patents are opposed less frequently than a control group of corporate patents. This suggests that academic patents cover rather basic inventions with a low immediate commercial value not threatening current returns of potential plaintiffs. The effect is weaker for academic patents filed in collaboration with the business sector, which suggests that those patents are evaluated as more applied by owners of potentially rival technologies. Copyright 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Czarnitzki & Katrin Hussinger & Cédric Schneider, 2009. "Why Challenge the Ivory Tower? New Evidence on the Basicness of Academic Patents-super-," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 488-499, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:62:y:2009:i:4:p:488-499
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:spr:scient:v:98:y:2014:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-013-1131-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Malva, Antonio Della & Hussinger, Katrin, 2012. "Corporate science in the patent system: An analysis of the semiconductor technology," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 118-135.
    3. repec:eee:tefoso:v:128:y:2018:i:c:p:235-244 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Foray, Dominique & Lissoni, Francesco, 2010. "University Research and Public–Private Interaction," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    5. Huang, Mu-Hsuan & Yang, Hsiao-Wen & Chen, Dar-Zen, 2015. "Increasing science and technology linkage in fuel cells: A cross citation analysis of papers and patents," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 237-249.
    6. Hanna Hottenrott & Cornelia Lawson, 2014. "Research grants, sources of ideas and the effects on academic research," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(2), pages 109-133, March.

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