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Understanding the technology market for patents: New insights from a licensing survey of Japanese firms

  • Kani, Masayo
  • Motohashi, Kazuyuki

This paper provides an empirical analysis of the technology market for patents in Japan, by using a novel firm-level dataset that combines a Japanese Patent Office survey titled Survey of Intellectual Property Activities, the Institute of Intellectual Property patent database, and the Licensing Activity Survey conducted by the University of Tokyo. In this paper, we use a two-step model to estimate a firm's licensing propensities; the first step estimates the determinants of potential licensors (willingness to license) and the second step identifies the factors of the actual licensing out of technology (licensing propensity). We found that a significant number of patents held by firms are not licensed out, although the owners are willing to do so. Our econometric analysis reveals that a major factor behind this technology market imperfection is the potential licensors’ difficulty in finding licensing partners.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 226-235

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:41:y:2012:i:1:p:226-235
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  1. Teece, David J., 1986. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 285-305, December.
  2. Kazuyuki Motohashi & Xiao Yun, 2005. "China's Innovation System Reform and Growing Industry and Science Linkages," Discussion papers 05011, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  3. Andrea Fosfuri & Marco S. Giarratana, 2010. "Introduction: Trading under the Buttonwood--a foreword to the markets for technology and ideas," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 767-773, June.
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  6. Ashish Arora & Marco Ceccagnoli, 2006. "Patent Protection, Complementary Assets, and Firms' Incentives for Technology Licensing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(2), pages 293-308, February.
  7. 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.
  8. Lichtenthaler, Ulrich, 2010. "Determinants of proactive and reactive technology licensing: A contingency perspective," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 55-66, February.
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  12. Anand, Bharat N & Khanna, Tarun, 2000. "The Structure of Licensing Contracts," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 103-35, March.
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  15. Gans, Joshua S. & Stern, Scott, 2003. "The product market and the market for "ideas": commercialization strategies for technology entrepreneurs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 333-350, February.
  16. Hall, Bronwyn H & Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel, 2001. "The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," CEPR Discussion Papers 3094, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Maria Pluvia Zuniga & Dominique Guellec, 2009. "Who Licenses out Patents and Why?: Lessons from a Business Survey," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2009/5, OECD Publishing.
  18. Blundell, Richard & Meghir, Costas, 1987. "Bivariate alternatives to the Tobit model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 179-200.
  19. Motohashi, Kazuyuki, 2005. "University-industry collaborations in Japan: The role of new technology-based firms in transforming the National Innovation System," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 583-594, June.
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