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How SMEs exploit their intellectual property assets: evidence from survey data

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  • Gaétan Rassenfosse

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Abstract

This paper seeks to understand how motives to patent affect the use of the patent portfolio with a particular focus on motives aimed at the monetization of intellectual property (IP). The analysis relies on data from an international survey conducted by the European Patent Office (EPO). The main results can be summarized as follows. First, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) exhibit a much stronger reliance on ‘monetary patents’ than large companies and nearly half of the SMEs in the sample patent for monetary reasons. Second, SMEs tend to use their patents more actively than large firms. Third, smaller companies generally have a higher proportion of their portfolio that is licensed but the licensing rate is significantly higher in the U.S. An American SME is twice as likely as a European SME to have a high share of its portfolio that is actually licensed, witnessing a fragmented market for technology in Europe.
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Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:39:y:2012:i:2:p:437-452
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-010-9313-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    11. Dirk Czarnitzki & Hanna Hottenrott, 2011. "R&D investment and financing constraints of small and medium-sized firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 65-83, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Block, Jörn H. & Fisch, Christian O. & Hahn, Alexander & Sandner, Philipp G., 2015. "Why do SMEs file trademarks? Insights from firms in innovative industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(10), pages 1915-1930.
    2. de Rassenfosse, Gaétan, 2013. "Do firms face a trade-off between the quantity and the quality of their inventions?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 1072-1079.
    3. Han, Junghee & Heshmati, Almas, 2015. "Innovation and SMEs Patent Propensity in Korea," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 395, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    4. Balsmeier, Benjamin & Delanote, Julie, 2015. "Employment growth heterogeneity under varying intellectual property rights regimes in European transition economies: Young vs. mature innovators," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 1069-1084.
    5. de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & Palangkaraya, Alfons & Webster, Elizabeth, 2016. "Why do patents facilitate trade in technology? Testing the disclosure and appropriation effects," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1326-1336.
    6. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Alfons Palangkaraya & Elizabeth Webster, 2013. "Do Patents Shield Disclosure or Assure Exclusivity When Transacting Technology?," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2013n05, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    7. Jérôme Danguy & Gaetan de Rassenfosse & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2014. "On the origins of the worldwide surge in patenting: an industry perspective on the R&D–patent relationship," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 535-572.
    8. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Adam B. Jaffe, 2017. "Econometric Evidence on the R&D Depreciation Rate," NBER Working Papers 23072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:3:p:877-:d:137031 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Walsh, John P. & Lee, You-Na & Jung, Taehyun, 2016. "Win, lose or draw? The fate of patented inventions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1362-1373.
    11. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1808-:d:114286 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:eee:eecrev:v:101:y:2018:i:c:p:625-642 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Naubahar Sharif, 2018. "To License or Sell: A Study on the Patent Transaction Modes in China," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2018-51, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised Jan 2018.
    14. Branka Ahlin & Mateja Drnovšek & Robert Hisrich, 2014. "Entrepreneurs’ creativity and firm innovation: the moderating role of entrepreneurial self-efficacy," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 101-117, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financing constraint; Intellectual property strategy; Market for technology; Motives to patent; Multivariate ordered models; Technology licensing; O32; O34; O38; G21; G24;

    JEL classification:

    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage

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