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Comparative Study of the Use of Patents in Different Industries


  • Luigi Orsenigo

    (Dimi, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy and KITeS, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy)

  • Valerio Sterzi

    () (KITeS, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy)


It has been long recognised that the role and effects of patents vary considerably across industries. This observation raises immediately to important sets of questions. First, can we document systematically this heterogeneity and can we provide a conceptual framework for explaining this diversity? Second, how should the patent system deal with these differences? Should patent laws be tailored to industry specificities or should they be kept as homogeneous as possible? In this paper, we focus mainly on the first question and only tangentially on the second one. In particular, we try to review what is known about the inter-sectoral differences in the uses of patents and their more recent evolution and we suggest that such diversity is just to expected as it depends on complex interactions between the properties of technologies, the nature of markets and the patterns of competition, the evolution of legislation and its interpretation.

Suggested Citation

  • Luigi Orsenigo & Valerio Sterzi, 2010. "Comparative Study of the Use of Patents in Different Industries," KITeS Working Papers 033, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:cri:cespri:kites33_wp

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hall, B. & Jaffe, A. & Trajtenberg, M., 2001. "The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," Papers 2001-29, Tel Aviv.
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    Cited by:

    1. Philippe Gorry & Diego Useche, 2017. "Orphan Drug Designations as Valuable Intangible Assets for IPO Investors in Pharma-Biotech Companies," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Dimensions of Personalized and Precision Medicine National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Sterzi, Valerio, 2013. "Patent quality and ownership: An analysis of UK faculty patenting," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 564-576.
    3. Useche, Diego, 2014. "Are patents signals for the IPO market? An EU–US comparison for the software industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1299-1311.
    4. Lawson Cornelia & Sterzi Valerio, 2012. "The role of early career factors in academic patenting," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201201, University of Turin.
    5. Sterzi, Valerio, 2011. "Academic patent value and knowledge transfer in the UK. Does patent ownership matter?," MPRA Paper 34955, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Cheng, Yu & Huang, Lucheng & Ramlogan, Ronnie & Li, Xin, 2017. "Forecasting of potential impacts of disruptive technology in promising technological areas: Elaborating the SIRS epidemic model in RFID technology," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 170-183.

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