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Reassessing patent propensity: Evidence from a dataset of R&D awards, 1977–2004

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  • Fontana, Roberto
  • Nuvolari, Alessandro
  • Shimizu, Hiroshi
  • Vezzulli, Andrea

Abstract

It is well known that not all innovations are patented, but the exact volume of innovative activities undertaken outside the coverage of patent protection and, relatedly, the actual propensity to patent an innovation in different contexts remain, to a major degree, a matter of speculation. This paper presents an exploratory study comparing systematically patented and unpatented innovations over the period 1977–2004 across industrial sectors. The main data source is the ‘R&D 100 Awards’ competition organized by the journal Research and Development. Since 1963, the magazine has been awarding this prize to the 100 most technologically significant new products available for sale or licensing in the year preceding the judgments. We match the products winners of the R&D 100 awards competition with USPTO patents and we examine the variation of patent propensity across different contexts (industries, geographical areas and organizations). Finally we compare our findings with previous assessments of patent propensity based on several sources of data.

Suggested Citation

  • Fontana, Roberto & Nuvolari, Alessandro & Shimizu, Hiroshi & Vezzulli, Andrea, 2013. "Reassessing patent propensity: Evidence from a dataset of R&D awards, 1977–2004," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(10), pages 1780-1792.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:42:y:2013:i:10:p:1780-1792
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2012.05.014
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Filippetti & Frederick Guy, 2016. "Risk-taking, skill diversity, and the quality of human capital: how insurance affects innovation," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1625, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Aug 2016.
    2. Domini, Giacomo, 2016. "Patents, exhibitions and markets for innovation in the early twentieth century: Evidence from Turin 1911 International Exhibition," MERIT Working Papers 061, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. Carlos M. Correa, 2016. "Intellectual Property: How Much Room is Left for Industrial Policy?," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(02), pages 1-22, June.
    4. Stephan, Annegret & Schmidt, Tobias S. & Bening, Catharina R. & Hoffmann, Volker H., 2017. "The sectoral configuration of technological innovation systems: Patterns of knowledge development and diffusion in the lithium-ion battery technology in Japan," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 709-723.
    5. repec:wsi:ijitmx:v:14:y:2017:i:03:n:s0219877017500158 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Innovation; Patent propensity; R&D awards;

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