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Reaping the Benefits of Patenting Activities: Does the Size of Patentees Matter?

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  • Francesco Schettino
  • Alessandro Sterlacchini

Abstract

This paper is based upon a survey on a regional sample of Italian inventors who, between 1991 and 2005, were named in patent applications filed at the European Patent Office. Their features and patenting activities are examined in relation to the size of their organizations. Compared to those from medium and large companies, the inventors working in small firms are less productive in terms of patent applications. However, according to different indicators, it emerges that there is no difference in the average quality of patented inventions of the two groups. Nevertheless, one-third of small applicants evaluates negatively its patenting experience, while this is true for only a tiny fraction of larger patentees. On the basis of further interviews, we find that these assessments are particularly influenced by the different capacity to enforce patent rights.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Schettino & Alessandro Sterlacchini, 2009. "Reaping the Benefits of Patenting Activities: Does the Size of Patentees Matter?," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(6), pages 613-633.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:16:y:2009:i:6:p:613-633
    DOI: 10.1080/13662710903371140
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Graham, Stuart J. H. & Hall, Bronwyn H. & Harhoff, Dietmar & Mowery, David C., 2002. "Post-Issue Patent "Quality Control": A Comparative Study of US Patent Re-Examinations and European Patent Oppositions," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2qt097bd, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    2. Hall, B. & Jaffe, A. & Trajtenberg, M., 2001. "The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," Papers 2001-29, Tel Aviv.
    3. Graham, Stuart J.H. & Hall, Bronwyn H. & Harhoff, Dietmar & Mowery, David C., 2002. "Post-Issue Patent “Quality Control:†A Comparative Study of US Patent Re-examinations and European Patent Oppositions," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt7931q79x, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    4. Wagner, Alfred, 1891. "Marshall's Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 5, pages 319-338.
    5. James Bessen & Michael J. Meurer, 2008. "Introduction to Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk," Introductory Chapters,in: Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk Princeton University Press.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schettino, Francesco & Sterlacchini, Alessandro & Venturini, Francesco, 2013. "Inventive productivity and patent quality: Evidence from Italian inventors," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1043-1056.

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