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How SMEs Exploit Their Intellectual Property Assets: Evidence from Survey Data

  • Gaétan de Rassenfosse

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, and Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia, The University of Melbourne)

This paper seeks to understand how motives to patent affect the use of the patent portfolio with a particular focus on motives aimed at the monetization of intellectual property (IP). The analysis relies on data from an international survey conducted by the European Patent Office (EPO). The main results can be summarized as follows. First, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) exhibit a much stronger reliance on ‘monetary patents’ than large companies and nearly half of the SMEs in the sample patent for monetary reasons. Second, SMEs tend to use their patents more actively than large firms. Third, smaller companies generally have a higher proportion of their portfolio that is licensed but the licensing rate is significantly higher in the U.S. An American SME is twice as likely as a European SME to have a high share of its portfolio that is actually licensed, witnessing a fragmented market for technology in Europe.

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Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2010n20.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2010n20
Contact details of provider: Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
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Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/Email:


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  1. Giuri, Paola & Mariani, Myriam, 2007. "Inventors and invention processes in Europe: Results from the PatVal-EU survey," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1105-1106, October.
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  4. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "On the price elasticity of demand for patents," Working Papers CEB 08-031.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Blind, Knut & Edler, Jakob & Frietsch, Rainer & Schmoch, Ulrich, 2006. "Motives to patent: Empirical evidence from Germany," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 655-672, June.
  6. Nagaoka, Sadao & Kwon, Hyeog Ug, 2006. "The incidence of cross-licensing: A theory and new evidence on the firm and contract level determinants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 1347-1361, November.
  7. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2010. "The Financing of Innovative Firms," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 1(1).
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  10. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2007. "Per un pugno di dollari: A first look at the price elasticity of patents," Working Papers CEB 07-022.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  11. Haeussler, Caroline & Harhoff, Dietmar & Müller, Elisabeth, 2009. "To Be Financed or Not... - The Role of Patents for Venture Capital Financing," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 253, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
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  15. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, . "Lost property: The European patent system and why it doesn't work," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 312.
  16. Harhoff, Dietmar, 2009. "The role of patents and licenses in securing external finance for innovation," EIB Papers 11/2009, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
  17. Anand, Bharat N & Khanna, Tarun, 2000. "The Structure of Licensing Contracts," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 103-35, March.
  18. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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