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University Patenting in Germany before and after 2002: What Role Did the Professors' Privilege Play?


  • Sidonia von Ledebur

    () (Philipps University Marburg)

  • Guido Buenstorf

    () (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena)

  • Martin Hummel

    () (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, School of Economics and Business Administration)


We examine ownership patterns of German university-invented patents before and after the abolition of the "professors' privilege" in 2002 to explore how the legal change affected patenting activities. Our data show a shift from individually-owned and firm-owned patents to university-owned patents, which becomes increasingly strong over the years. Differences in the patent experience of inventors and universities further help explain the variance in ownership patterns. Both experienced and inexperienced inventors are affected by the legal change.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2009-068

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:scient:v:101:y:2014:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1400-x is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Pluvia Zuniga, 2011. "The State of Patenting at Research Institutions in Developing Countries: Policy Approaches and Practices," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers 04, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division, revised Dec 2011.
    3. Hottenrott, Hanna & Thorwarth, Susanne, 2010. "Industry funding of university research and scientific productivity," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-105, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    4. Buenstorf, Guido & Schacht, Alexander, 2013. "We need to talk – or do we? Geographic distance and the commercialization of technologies from public research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 465-480.
    5. Bijedić, Teita & Chlosta, Simone & Werner, Arndt, 2016. "Inventions and their commercial exploitation in academic institutions: Analysing determinants among academics," Working Papers 04/16, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    6. Guido Buenstorf & Matthias Geissler, 2012. "Not invented here: technology licensing, knowledge transfer and innovation based on public research," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 481-511, July.
    7. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9490-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Sterzi, Valerio, 2013. "Patent quality and ownership: An analysis of UK faculty patenting," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 564-576.
    9. Sidonia von Proff & Thomas Brenner, 2011. "The Dynamics of Inter-Regional Collaboration – An Analysis of Co-Patenting," Working Papers on Innovation and Space 2011-06, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    10. Michael Fritsch & Ronney Aamoucke, 2013. "Regional public research, higher education, and innovative start-ups: an empirical investigation," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 865-885, December.
    11. Anna Kochenkova & Rosa Grimaldi & Federico Munari, 2016. "Public policy measures in support of knowledge transfer activities: a review of academic literature," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 407-429, June.
    12. 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.
    13. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Doherr, Thorsten & Hussinger, Katrin & Schliessler, Paula & Toole, Andrew A., 2015. "Individual versus institutional ownership of university-discovered inventions," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-007, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    14. repec:wip:wpaper:4 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:8:p:1479-1489 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Matthijs den Besten & Catalina Martínez & Nicolas Besson & Stéphane Maraut & Jean-Michel Dalle, 2014. "Human computing via online labor markets. The perils and promises of crowdsourcing in data-rich ecosystems," Working Papers 1402, Instituto de Políticas y Bienes Públicos (IPP), CSIC.
    17. Francesco Lissoni & Michele Pezzoni & Bianca Potì & Sandra Romagnosi, 2012. "University autonomy, IP legislation and academic patenting: Italy, 1996-2007," Post-Print hal-00779750, HAL.
    18. repec:spr:anresc:v:59:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00168-017-0843-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Sidonia Proff & Thomas Brenner, 2014. "The dynamics of inter-regional collaboration: an analysis of co-patenting," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 52(1), pages 41-64, January.
    20. Anja Dettmann & Sidonia von Proff, 2010. "Inventor collaboration over distance – a comparison of academic and corporate patents," Working Papers on Innovation and Space 2010-01, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    21. Alexander Schacht, 2012. "Commercializing inventions from public research: Does speed matter?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-026, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.

    More about this item


    university patenting; technology transfer; professors' privilege; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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