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Measuring Innovation Using Patent Data

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    Firms and governments spend billions of dollars on R&D every year. To increase social welfare, the results of R&D must be commercialized so that consumers can benefit from improved products and lower prices. One measure of R&D output is patents; however, most patent databases contain no information on whether patents have been commercialized, i.e., whether innovations have been introduced in the market. This paper applies a new method to identify innovations in patent databases by relating traditional patent quality indicators (patent renewal, patent equivalents and forward citations) to patent commercialization variables. For this purpose, I use a unique database on Swedish patents that includes information on whether patents are commercialized and whether the commercialization is profitable. The estimations show that commercialization is strongly positively correlated with both patent renewal and patent equivalents but only moderately positively correlated with forward citations. Further, successful innovations are most positively related to patent renewal. Based on the traditional patent quality indicators and estimated parameters in the model, probabilities of commercialization and successful innovations can be predicted. The developed parameters may be used to identify innovations across sectors and regions in other patent databases.

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    Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 1067.

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    Length: 33 pages
    Date of creation: 07 Apr 2015
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1067
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    Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

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    1. Per Botolf Maurseth & Roger Svensson, 2014. "Micro evidence on international patenting," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 398-422, June.
    2. Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2011. "The vulnerability of patent value determinants," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 283-308.
    3. Manuel Trajtenberg, 1990. "A Penny for Your Quotes: Patent Citations and the Value of Innovations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 172-187, Spring.
    4. Schankerman, Mark & Pakes, Ariel, 1986. "Estimates of the Value of Patent Rights in European Countries during the Post-1950 Period," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1052-1076, December.
    5. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), 2010. "Handbook of the Economics of Innovation," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1, 00.
    8. Pakes, Ariel S, 1986. "Patents as Options: Some Estimates of the Value of Holding European Patent Stocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 755-784, July.
    9. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Stromberg, 2001. "Venture Capitalists As Principals: Contracting, Screening, and Monitoring," NBER Working Papers 8202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Morgan, Robert P & Kruytbosch, Carlos & Kannankutty, Nirmala, 2001. "Patenting and Invention Activity of U.S. Scientists and Engineers in the Academic Sector: Comparisons with Industry," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 173-183, January.
    11. Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2011. "The puzzle of patent value indicators," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 33-62.
    12. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Stromberg, 2001. "Venture Capitals As Principals: Contracting, Screening, and Monitoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 426-430, May.
    13. Ariel Pakes & Mark Schankerman, 1984. "The Rate of Obsolescence of Patents, Research Gestation Lags, and the Private Rate of Return to Research Resources," NBER Chapters,in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 73-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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