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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
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
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  1. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Gaétan de Rassenfosse, 2007. "Per un pugno di dollari: a first look at the price elasticity of patents," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6391, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Hall, Bronwyn H., 2009. "The financing of innovative firms," EIB Papers 8/2009, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
  3. de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2008. "On the price elasticity of demand for patents," CEPR Discussion Papers 7029, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Giuri, Paola & Mariani, Myriam & Brusoni, Stefano & Crespi, Gustavo & Francoz, Dominique & Gambardella, Alfonso & Garcia-Fontes, Walter & Geuna, Aldo & Gonzales, Raul & Harhoff, Dietmar & Hoisl, Karin, 2007. "Inventors and invention processes in Europe: Results from the PatVal-EU survey," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1107-1127, October.
  5. Anand, Bharat N & Khanna, Tarun, 2000. "The Structure of Licensing Contracts," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 103-35, March.
  6. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, . "Lost property: The European patent system and why it doesn't work," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 312, 3.
  7. Lichtenthaler, Ulrich, 2007. "Corporate technology out-licensing: Motives and scope," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 117-121, June.
  8. Motohashi, Kazuyuki, 2008. "Licensing or not licensing? An empirical analysis of the strategic use of patents by Japanese firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1548-1555, October.
  9. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  10. 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.
  11. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2002. "The Financing of Research and Development," NBER Working Papers 8773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Alfonso Gambardella & Paola Giuri & Alessandra Luzzi, 2006. "The Market for Patents in Europe," LEM Papers Series 2006/04, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  13. Athreye, Suma & Cantwell, John, 2007. "Creating competition?: Globalisation and the emergence of new technology producers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 209-226, March.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  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. Raquel Ortega-Argilés & Marco Vivarelli & Peter Voigt, 2009. "R&D in SMEs: a paradox?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 3-11, June.
  18. Amable, Bruno & Chatelain, Jean-Bernard & Ralf, Kirsten, 2010. "Patents as collateral," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1092-1104, June.
  19. Mueller, Elisabeth & Harhoff, Dietmar & Haeussler, Carolin, 2009. "To Be Financed or Not : The Role of Patents for Venture Capital Financing," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-003, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  20. 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.
  21. Ashish Arora & Marco Ceccagnoli, 2006. "Patent Protection, Complementary Assets, and Firms' Incentives for Technology Licensing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(2), pages 293-308, February.
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