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University autonomy, IP legislation and academic patenting: Italy, 1996-2007

  • Francesco LISSONI (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113)
  • Michele PEZZONI (KITeS, University of Bocconi)
  • Bianca POTI (CERIS-CNR)
  • Sandra ROMAGNOSI (Parco Scientifico Università \"Tor Vergata\")

Using data on patent applications at European Patent Office, we search for trends in academic patenting in Italy, 1996-2007. During this time, Italian university underwent a radical reform process, which granted them autonomy, and were confronted with a change in IP legislation, which introduced the professor privilege. We find that, although the absolute number of academic patents has increased, (i) their weight on total patenting by domestic inventors has not, while (ii) the share of academic patents owned by universities has increased. By means of a set of probit regressions, we show that the probability to observe an academic patent depends largely on the technology considered and characteristics of the local innovation system. After controlling for these determinants, the conditional probability to observe an academic patent has indeed declined over time. Also by means of probit regressions, we find that the rise of university ownership is explained, significantly albeit not exclusively, by the increasing share of public vs. private R&D and by the increased autonomy of Italian universities, which has allowed them to introduce explicit IP regulations concerning their staff\'s inventions. The introduction of the professor privilege has had no impact at all.

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Paper provided by Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée in its series Cahiers du GREThA with number 2012-26.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:grt:wpegrt:2012-26
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  1. Saragossi, Sarina & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2003. " What Patent Data Reveal about Universities: The Case of Belgium," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 47-51, January.
  2. Balconi, Margherita & Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco, 2004. "Networks of inventors and the role of academia: an exploration of Italian patent data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 127-145, January.
  3. Sidonia von Ledebur & Guido Buenstorf & Martin Hummel, 2009. "University Patenting in Germany before and after 2002: What Role Did the Professors' Privilege Play?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-068, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  4. Francesco Lissoni & Patrick Llerena & Maureen McKelvey & Bulat Sanditov, 2008. "Academic patenting in Europe: new evidence from the KEINS database," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 87-102, June.
  5. Baldini, Nicola & Grimaldi, Rosa & Sobrero, Maurizio, 2006. "Institutional changes and the commercialization of academic knowledge: A study of Italian universities' patenting activities between 1965 and 2002," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 518-532, May.
  6. Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Julian Kolev & Fiona Murray & Scott Stern, 2010. "The Public and Private Sectors in the Process of Innovation: Theory and Evidence from the Mouse Genetics Revolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 153-58, May.
  7. Geuna, Aldo & Rossi, Federica, 2011. "Changes to university IPR regulations in Europe and the impact on academic patenting," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1068-1076, October.
  8. Antonio Della Malva & Francesco Lissoni & Patrick Llerena, 2008. "Institutional Change and Academic Patenting: French Universities and the Innovation Act of the 1999," Working Papers of BETA 2008-09, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  9. Thursby, Jerry & Fuller, Anne W. & Thursby, Marie, 2009. "US faculty patenting: Inside and outside the university," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 14-25, February.
  10. Kenney, Martin & Patton, Donald, 2011. "Does inventor ownership encourage university research-derived entrepreneurship? A six university comparison," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1100-1112, October.
  11. Gerard George, 2005. "Learning to be capable: patenting and licensing at the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation 1925--2002," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 119-151, February.
  12. Raffo, Julio & Lhuillery, Stéphane, 2009. "How to play the "Names Game": Patent retrieval comparing different heuristics," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1617-1627, December.
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