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Used, blocking and sleeping patents: Empirical evidence from a large-scale inventor survey

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  • Torrisi, Salvatore
  • Gambardella, Alfonso
  • Giuri, Paola
  • Harhoff, Dietmar
  • Hoisl, Karin
  • Mariani, Myriam

Abstract

This paper employs data from a large-scale survey (InnoS&T) of inventors in Europe, the USA, and Japan who were listed in patent applications filed at the European Patent Office with priority years between 2003 and 2005. We provide evidence regarding the reasons for patenting and the ways in which patents are being utilized. A substantial share of patents is neither used internally nor for market transactions, which confirms the importance of strategic patenting and inefficiency in the management of intellectual property. We investigate different types of unused patents—unused blocking patents and sleeping patents. We also examine the association between used and unused patents and their characteristics such as family size, scope, generality and overlapping claims, technology area, type of applicant, and the competitive environment from where these patents originate. We discuss our results and derive some implications for innovation and patent policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Torrisi, Salvatore & Gambardella, Alfonso & Giuri, Paola & Harhoff, Dietmar & Hoisl, Karin & Mariani, Myriam, 2016. "Used, blocking and sleeping patents: Empirical evidence from a large-scale inventor survey," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1374-1385.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:45:y:2016:i:7:p:1374-1385
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2016.03.021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:techno:v:72-73:y:2018:i::p:13-23 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:115:y:2019:i:c:p:78-93 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:spr:scient:v:118:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-018-2979-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Stefano Comino & Fabio M. Manenti & NIkolaus Thumm, 2017. "The Role of Patents in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). A survey of the Literature," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0212, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    5. repec:taf:indinn:v:24:y:2017:i:6:p:659-689 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Catalina Martinez & Pluvia Zuniga, 2017. "Contracting for technology transfer: patent licensing and know-how in Brazil," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(6), pages 659-689, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intellectual property; Blocking patents; Sleeping patents; Strategic patenting;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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