IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Patents and the Survival of Internet-related IPOs

  • Iain M. Cockburn
  • Stefan Wagner

We examine the effect of patenting on the survival prospects of 356 internet-related firms that IPO'd at the height of the stock market bubble of the late 1990s. By March 2005, nearly 2/3 of these firms had delisted from the NASDAQ exchange. Although changes in the legal environment in the US in the 1990s made it much easier to obtain patents on software and, ultimately, on business methods, less than half of the firms in this sample obtained, or attempted to obtain, patents. For those that did, we hypothesize that patents conferred competitive advantages that translate into higher probability of survival, though they may also simply be a signal of firm quality. Controlling for age, venture-capital backing, financial characteristics, and stock market conditions, patenting is positively associated with survival. Quite different processes appear to govern exit via acquisition compared to exit via delisting from the exchange due to business failure. Firms that applied for more patents were less likely to be acquired, though obtaining unusually highly cited patents may make them more attractive acquisition target. These findings do not hold for business method patents, which do not appear to confer a survival advantage.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13146.

in new window

Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Wagner, S. & Cockburn, I., 2010. "Patents and the survival of Internet-related IPOs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 214-228, March.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13146
Note: IO PR
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Geroski, P. A., 1995. "What do we know about entry?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 421-440, December.
  2. Honjo, Yuji, 2000. "Business failure of new firms: an empirical analysis using a multiplicative hazards model," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 557-574, May.
  3. James Bessen & Robert M Hunt, 2004. "An Empirical Look at Software Patents," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000167, David K. Levine.
  4. Iain M. Cockburn & Megan J. MacGarvie, 2011. "Entry and Patenting in the Software Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(5), pages 915-933, May.
  5. Palepu, Krishna G., 1986. "Predicting takeover targets : A methodological and empirical analysis," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 3-35, March.
  6. David Audretsch & Erik Lehmann, 2004. "The Effects of Experience, Ownership, and Knowledge on IPO Survival: Evidence from the Neuer Markt," Working Papers of the Research Group Heterogenous Labor 04-10, Research Group Heterogeneous Labor, University of Konstanz/ZEW Mannheim.
  7. Stefan Wagner, 2004. "Business Method Patents in Europe and their Strategic Use – Evidence from Franking Device Manufacturers," Law and Economics 0410003, EconWPA.
  8. Hunter, Starling David, III, 2003. "Have Business Method Patents Gotten a Bum Rap? Some Empirical Evidence," Working papers 4326-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  9. Tjalling van der Goot & Noud van Giersbergen & Michiel Botman, 2009. "What determines the survival of internet IPOs?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(5), pages 547-561.
  10. Ali-Yrkkö, Jyrki & Hyytinen, Ari & Pajarinen, Mika, 2004. "Does Patenting Increase the Probability of Being Acquired? Evidence from Cross-border and Domestic Acquisitions," Discussion Papers 891, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  11. Audretsch, David B & Mahmood, Talat, 1995. "New Firm Survival: New Results Using a Hazard Function," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 97-103, February.
  12. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2003. "Business Method Patents, Innovation, and Policy," NBER Working Papers 9717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Thomas F. Cooley & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2001. "Financial Markets and Firm Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1286-1310, December.
  14. Josh Lerner & Feng Zhu, 2005. "What is the Impact of Software Patent Shifts?: Evidence from Lotus v. Borland," NBER Working Papers 11168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Michael Noel & Mark Schankerman, 2006. "Strategic Patenting and Software Innovation," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 43, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  16. Bronwyn H. Hall & Megan MacGarvie, 2006. "The Private Value of Software Patents," NBER Working Papers 12195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Michael Noel & Mark Schankerman, 2006. "Strategic Patenting and Software Innovation," CEP Discussion Papers dp0740, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  18. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  19. Rajshree Agarwal & Michael Gort, 2002. "Firm and Product Life Cycles and Firm Survival," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 184-190, May.
  20. Utterback, James M. & Suarez, Fernando F., 1993. "Innovation, competition, and industry structure," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-21, February.
  21. Silviano Pérez & Amparo Llopis & Juan Llopis, 2004. "The Determinants of Survival of Spanish Manufacturing Firms," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 251-273, 08.
  22. Lanjouw, Jean O & Schankerman, Mark, 2001. "Characteristics of Patent Litigation: A Window on Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 129-51, Spring.
  23. David B. Audretsch, 1995. "Innovation and Industry Evolution," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011468, June.
  24. Shumway, Tyler, 2001. "Forecasting Bankruptcy More Accurately: A Simple Hazard Model," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(1), pages 101-24, January.
  25. Seguin, P. J. & Smoller, M. M., 1997. "Share price and mortality: An empirical evaluation of newly listed Nasdaq stocks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 333-363, September.
  26. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 2004. "New lists: Fundamentals and survival rates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 229-269, August.
  27. Agarwal, Rajshree & Gort, Michael, 1996. "The Evolution of Markets and Entry, Exit and Survival of Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(3), pages 489-98, August.
  28. Mata, Jose & Portugal, Pedro & Guimaraes, Paulo, 1995. "The survival of new plants: Start-up conditions and post-entry evolution," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 459-481, December.
  29. Bharat A. Jain & Omesh Kini, 2000. "Does the Presence of Venture Capitalists Improve the Survival Profile of IPO Firms?," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(9&10), pages 1139-1183.
  30. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  31. Noel, Michael D. & Schankerman, Mark, 2006. "Strategic Patenting and Software Innovation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5701, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13146. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.