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Licensing or not licensing? An empirical analysis of the strategic use of patents by Japanese firms


  • Motohashi, Kazuyuki


This paper is a first attempt to analyze IP strategy of Japanese firms, by using large datasets from the Japan Patent Office's (JPO), called "Survey of Intellectual Property Activities (SIPA)." Descriptive regressions of IP strategy indicators suggest a non-linear relationship between firm size and licensing propensity. Small firms with fewer complementary assets, such as production facilities and marketing channels, tend to license more. At the same time, the licensing propensity of large firms is also high due to the effects of cross-licensing.

Suggested Citation

  • Motohashi, Kazuyuki, 2008. "Licensing or not licensing? An empirical analysis of the strategic use of patents by Japanese firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1548-1555, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:37:y:2008:i:9:p:1548-1555

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lanjouw, Jean O & Schankerman, Mark, 2001. "Characteristics of Patent Litigation: A Window on Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 129-151, Spring.
    2. Arora, Ashish & Fosfuri, Andrea, 2003. "Licensing the market for technology," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 277-295, October.
    3. Kazuyuki Motohashi, 2003. "Japan's Patent System and Business Innovation: Reassessing Pro-patent Policies," Discussion papers 03020, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    4. Arora, Ashish, 1997. "Patents, licensing, and market structure in the chemical industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4-5), pages 391-403, December.
    5. Ashish Arora & Andréa Fosfuri, 2000. "The Market for Technology in the Chemical Industry : Causes and Consequences," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 92(1), pages 317-334.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kani, Masayo & Motohashi, Kazuyuki, 2012. "Understanding the technology market for patents: New insights from a licensing survey of Japanese firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 226-235.
    2. Thomas Hoeren & Francesca Guadagno & Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, 2015. "Breakthrough technologies – Semiconductor, innovation and intellectual property," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers 27, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division.
    3. Bottazzi, Laura, 2009. "The role of venture capital in alleviating financial constraints of innovative firms," EIB Papers 9/2009, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    4. Nishimura, Junichi & Okada, Yosuke, 2014. "R&D portfolios and pharmaceutical licensing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1250-1263.
    5. KWON Seokbeom & MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki, 2015. "How Institutional Arrangements in the National Innovation System Affect Industrial Competitiveness: A study of Japan and the United States with multiagent simulation," Discussion papers 15065, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    6. Gaétan Rassenfosse, 2012. "How SMEs exploit their intellectual property assets: evidence from survey data," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 437-452, September.
    7. Hsueh, Chao-Chih & Chen, Dar-Zen, 2015. "A taxonomy of patent strategies in Taiwan's small and medium innovative enterprises," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 84-98.
    8. Xiao, Yangao & Tylecote, Andrew & Liu, Jiajia, 2013. "Why not greater catch-up by Chinese firms? The impact of IPR, corporate governance and technology intensity on late-comer strategies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 749-764.
    9. repec:oup:indcch:v:26:y:2017:i:4:p:667-688. is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:9:p:1644-1654 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Darcy, Jacques & Krämer-Eis, Helmut & Guellec, Dominique & Debande, Olivier, 2009. "Financing technology transfer," EIB Papers 10/2009, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    12. Harhoff, Dietmar, 2009. "The role of patents and licenses in securing external finance for innovation," EIB Papers 11/2009, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    13. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2010. "The Financing of Innovative Firms," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 1(1).
    14. repec:spr:scient:v:112:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2451-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Paul H. Jensen & Alfons Palangkaraya & Elizabeth Webster, 2013. "Trust, Incomplete Contracts and the Market for Technology," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2013n03, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    16. Jean-François Sattin, 2016. "Exploring the survival of patent licensing: some evidence from French foreign agreements," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 610-630, June.
    17. Dohse, Dirk & Goel, Rajeev K. & Nelson, Michael A., 2018. "What induces firms to license foreign technologies? International survey evidence," Kiel Working Papers 2100, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    18. Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso, 2010. "The Market for Technology," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    19. Nagaoka, Sadao & Motohashi, Kazuyuki & Goto, Akira, 2010. "Patent Statistics as an Innovation Indicator," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    20. Seongkyoon Jeong & Sungki Lee & Yeonbae Kim, 2013. "Licensing versus selling in transactions for exploiting patented technological knowledge assets in the markets for technology," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 251-272, June.

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