Changes to university IPR regulations in Europe and the impact on academic patenting
This article develops a general framework to describe the changes in university IPR regulations in Europe and their effects on the patenting activities of universities and on knowledge transfer processes. Understanding the effects of changes in IPR regulations on academic patenting is a complex issue, and parallels with the US case can be misleading. First, despite the general trend towards institutional ownership, university IPR regulations in Europe remain extremely differentiated and there is no one-to-one mapping to the US system. Second, it is difficult to disentangle the quantitative and qualitative effects of changes in IPR ownership regulations on academic patenting activities from the effects of concurrent transformations in the institutional, cultural and organizational landscape surrounding academic knowledge transfer. The article proposes a review and typological classification of national university IPR ownership systems on the basis of their development since 2000, and uses it to analyze the aggregate dynamics of academic patent ownership in several European countries. The analysis of patterns of ownership of academic patents shows that there has been a general increase in university patenting since 1990, with a significant slowdown (and even reduction in some countries) after early 2000s accompanied by a switch in academic patents ownership in favor of university ownership though preserving the European specificity of high company ownership of academic invented patents.
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