IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The value of U.S. patents by owner and patent characteristics

  • Bessen, James

This paper uses renewal data to estimate the value of U.S. patents, controlling for patent and owner characteristics. Estimates of U.S. patent value are substantially larger than estimates for European patents, however, the ratio of U.S. patent value to R&D for firms is only about 3%. Contrary to a common assertion, patents issued to small patentees are much less valuable than those issued to large corporations. Litigated patents are more valuable, as are highly cited patents. However, patent citations explain little variance in value, suggesting limits to their use as a measure of patent quality.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (June)
Pages: 932-945

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:37:y:2008:i:5:p:932-945
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. James Bessen & Robert M. Hunt, 2007. "An Empirical Look at Software Patents," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 157-189, 03.
  2. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2004. "Patent Quality and Research Productivity: Measuring Innovation with Multiple Indicators," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 441-465, 04.
  3. Ashish Arora & Marco Ceccagnoli & Wesley M. Cohen, 2003. "R&D and the Patent Premium," NBER Working Papers 9431, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson & Adam Jaffe, 1997. "University Versus Corporate Patents: A Window On The Basicness Of Invention," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 19-50.
  5. Schankerman, Mark & Pakes, Ariel, 1986. "Estimates of the Value of Patent Rights in European Countries during the Post-1950 Period," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1052-76, December.
  6. James Bessen & Michael J. Meurer, 2005. "The Patent Litigation Explosion," Working Papers 0501, Research on Innovation.
  7. Harhoff, Dietmar & Scherer, Frederic M. & Vopel, Katrin, 2003. "Citations, family size, opposition and the value of patent rights," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1343-1363, September.
  8. Deng, Yi, 2005. "A Dynamic Stochastic Analysis of International Patent Application and Renewal Processes," Departmental Working Papers 0515, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  9. Lanjouw, Jean O & Schankerman, Mark, 2004. "Protecting Intellectual Property Rights: Are Small Firms Handicapped?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(1), pages 45-74, April.
  10. 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.
  11. Kortum, Samuel & Lerner, Josh, 1999. "What is behind the recent surge in patenting?1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-22, January.
  12. Ariel Pakes & Mark Schankerman, 1984. "The Rate of Obsolescence of Patents, Research Gestation Lags, and the Private Rate of Return to Research Resources," NBER Chapters, in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 73-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. James Bessen & Michael J. Meurer, 2007. "The Private Costs of Patent Litigation," Working Papers 0701, Research on Innovation.
  14. repec:oup:restud:v:65:y:1998:i:4:p:671-710 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. James Bessen, 2006. "Estimates of Firms' Patent Rents from Firm Market Value," Working Papers 0602, Research on Innovation.
  16. Pakes, Ariel S, 1986. "Patents as Options: Some Estimates of the Value of Holding European Patent Stocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 755-84, July.
  17. Lanjouw, Jean O & Pakes, Ariel & Putnam, Jonathan, 1998. "How to Count Patents and Value Intellectual Property: The Uses of Patent Renewal and Application Data," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 405-32, December.
  18. Hall, B. & Jaffe, A. & Trajtenberg, M., 2001. "The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," Papers 2001-29, Tel Aviv.
  19. Bessen, James, 2008. "The value of U.S. patents by owner and patent characteristics," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 932-945, June.
  20. Marco, Alan, 2001. "The Option Value of Patent Litigation: Theory and Evidence," Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series 52, Vassar College Department of Economics, revised Dec 2003.
  21. Marc Baudry & Béatrice Dumont, 2006. "Patent Renewals as Options: Improving the Mechanism for Weeding Out Lousy Patents," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 41-62, 02.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:37:y:2008:i:5:p:932-945. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.