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The Role of Patents for Bridging the Science to Market Gap

  • Thomas Hellmann

This paper examines an ex-post rationale for the patenting of scientific discoveries. In this model, scientist do not know which firms can make use of their discoveries, and firms do not know which scientific discoveries might be useful to them. To bridge this gap, either or both sides need to engage in costly search activities. Patents determine the appropriability of scientific discoveries, which affects the scientists. and firms. willingness to engage in search. Patents decrease dissemination when the search intensity of firms is sufficiently elastic, relative to that of scientists. The model also examines the role of universities. Patents facilitate the delegation of search activities to the universities%u2019 technology transfer offices, which enables efficient specialization. Rather than distracting scientists from doing research, patenting may be a complement to doing research.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11460.

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Date of creation: Jul 2005
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Publication status: published as Hellmann, Thomas, 2007. "The role of patents for bridging the science to market gap," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 624-647, August.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11460
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