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Commercialization of Swedish Patents – A Pilot Study in the Medical and Hygiene Sector




In this paper, I analyze the commercialization of patents in the Swedish medicine & hygiene sector. A unique database makes it possible to use a new method, where I follow the commercialization process of individual patents. A surprisingly low share (10%) of the inventions was discovered at universities or in firms close to universities, although 1/3 of total R&D is undertaken at universities in Sweden. The commercialization rate is higher among small firms and entrepreneurs compared to medium-sized and large firms, but the success rate is lower for the former groups. With respect to mode of commercialization, 90% of the patents are commercialized in existing firms and only 10% in new start-ups. Few patents are sold or licensed abroad, and even then, manufacturing of the invention often takes place in Sweden. It seems like there is a lack of external venture capital to a higher degree in the commercialization phase than in the R&D phase. Entrepreneurs and small firms often claim that financing and difficulties to find a firm willing to manufacture the invention are the largest problems during the commercialization, or the main reasons why the patent was not commercialized. The reasons why larger firms do not commercialize their patents are that they often give priority to other inventions

Suggested Citation

  • Svensson, Roger, 2002. "Commercialization of Swedish Patents – A Pilot Study in the Medical and Hygiene Sector," Working Paper Series 583, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0583

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-970, December.
    2. Dahlstrand, Asa Lindholm, 1997. "Growth and inventiveness in technology-based spin-off firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 331-344, October.
    3. Goldfarb, Brent & Henrekson, Magnus, 2001. "Bottom-Up vs. Top-Down Policies towards the Commercialization of University Intellectual Property," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 463, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 26 May 2002.
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    Cited by:

    1. Svensson, Roger, 2007. "Commercialization of patents and external financing during the R&D phase," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1052-1069, September.
    2. Pontus Braunerhjelm, 2007. "Academic entrepreneurship: Social norms, university culture and policies," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(9), pages 619-631, November.
    3. Svensson, Roger, 2006. "Innovation Performance and Government Financing," Working Paper Series 664, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 30 Sep 2006.
    4. Pontus Braunerhjelm & Roger Svensson, 2010. "The inventor’s role: was Schumpeter right?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 413-444, June.

    More about this item


    Patents; R&D; Commercialization; Financing; Entrepreneurship;

    JEL classification:

    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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