IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The role of research and ownership collaboration in generating patent quality: China-U.S comparisons


  • Gary H. Jefferson

    () (Brandeis University)

  • Renai Jiang

    () (Xi'an Jiaotong University)

  • Lintong Li

    () (Princeton University)

  • Sam Zucker

    () (Brandeis University)


This paper uses patent data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to investigate the implications of inventor collaboration and joint assignee ownership, both domestic and international, on patent quality as measured by the number of claims and citations associated with a patent. Specifically, we compare the quality implications of research collaboration and joint ownership for the quality of U.S. and Chinese patents. Overall, we find that domestic inventor collaboration yields higher quality results for U.S. patents than Chinese patents. However, for China, international collaboration, both for inventors and assignee ownership is associated with higher quality outcomes for Chinese patents than for U.S. patents. We also find that the incidence of inventors sharing assignee ownership is significantly higher in China. We hypothesize that this difference reflects a need in China to extend patent ownership to inventors for the purpose of recruiting and incentivizing a relatively limited supply of high-quality researchers, whereas in the U.S. the abundance of such researchers is retained largely through wage and bonus compensation.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary H. Jefferson & Renai Jiang & Lintong Li & Sam Zucker, 2017. "The role of research and ownership collaboration in generating patent quality: China-U.S comparisons," Working Papers 117, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
  • Handle: RePEc:brd:wpaper:117

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Etzkowitz, Henry & Leydesdorff, Loet, 2000. "The dynamics of innovation: from National Systems and "Mode 2" to a Triple Helix of university-industry-government relations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 109-123, February.
    2. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2001. "The NBER Patent Citation Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," NBER Working Papers 8498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2005. "Market Value and Patent Citations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(1), pages 16-38, Spring.
    4. Adam B. Jaffe & Gaétan de Rassenfosse, 2017. "Patent citation data in social science research: Overview and best practices," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 68(6), pages 1360-1374, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Pei Sun & Ziliang Deng & Mike Wright, 0. "Partnering with Leviathan: The politics of innovation in foreign-host-state joint ventures," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 0, pages 1-26.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:brd:wpaper:117. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Eliza Dumais). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.