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Do firms with larger patent portfolios create more new plant varieties in the US agricultural biotechnology industry?


  • H. Phoebe Chan


This article is an empirical analysis of the relationship between patent ownership and variety innovation for US agricultural biotechnology firms in the years 1976--1999. Counts of new varieties include corn, soybean, or wheat varieties protected by either patents or plant variety protection certificates, while patent portfolio size is defined as the count of a firm's gene and method patents. Negative binomial regression results indicate that firms with larger patent portfolios did not exhibit scale economies in variety creation nor did firms with wider technological diversity in their patent portfolios create significantly greater numbers of new varieties. However, firms experienced positive spillover effects from rival firms’ patent ownership, and patent ownership increases this effect. Sample firms that have merged in the past do not produce significantly greater numbers of new varieties after considering an increase in portfolio size and did not experience greater economies of scale in creating new varieties compared with firms that experienced no past mergers.

Suggested Citation

  • H. Phoebe Chan, 2011. "Do firms with larger patent portfolios create more new plant varieties in the US agricultural biotechnology industry?," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(8), pages 749-775, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:20:y:2011:i:8:p:749-775
    DOI: 10.1080/10438599.2010.531915

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jessica C. Stahl, 2010. "Mergers and sequential innovation: evidence from patent citations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-12, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
    2. Jinyoung Kim & Sangjoon John Lee & Gerald Marschke, 2009. "Relation of Firm Size to R&D Productivity," International Journal of Business and Economics, School of Management Development, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, vol. 8(1), pages 7-19, April.
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