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A comparative study of patent counts by the inventor country and the assignee country


  • Hui-Yun Sung

    (National Chung Hsing University)

  • Chun-Chieh Wang

    (National Taiwan University)

  • Dar-Zen Chen

    (National Taiwan University)

  • Mu-Hsuan Huang

    () (National Taiwan University)


Abstract This paper compared and contrasted patent counts by examining the inventor country and the assignee country. An empirical analysis of the patent data revealed how assignment principles (i.e. by the inventor country and by the assignee county) and counting methods (i.e. whole counts, first country and fractional counts) generate different results. Quadrant diagrams were utilised to present the patent data of the 33 selected countries. When countries had similar patent counts by inventor country with patent counts by assignee country, all the countries allocated along the diagonal line in the quadrant diagram were developed countries. When countries had more patent counts by inventor than by assignee, developed countries were more likely to sit in the right upper section of the quadrant diagram, while more developing countries were situated in the left lower section. Countries with higher patent counts by assignee than by inventor were more likely to be tax havens. A significant contribution of this paper resides in the recommendation that patent counts be analysed using both the inventor country and the assignee country at the same time if meaningful implications from patent statistics are to be obtained.

Suggested Citation

  • Hui-Yun Sung & Chun-Chieh Wang & Dar-Zen Chen & Mu-Hsuan Huang, 2014. "A comparative study of patent counts by the inventor country and the assignee country," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 100(2), pages 577-593, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:100:y:2014:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-013-1192-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-013-1192-4

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    Cited by:

    1. Conti, C. & Mancusi, M.L. & Sanna-Randaccio, F. & Sestini, R. & Verdolini, E., 2018. "Transition towards a green economy in Europe: Innovation and knowledge integration in the renewable energy sector," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(10), pages 1996-2009.


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