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Patent Trading Flows of Small and Large Firms

  • Nicolas Figueroa
  • Carlos J. Serrano

This article presents the results of an analysis of the patent trading flows of small and large firms and the determinants of these firm's patent sale and acquisition decisions. We also examine whether these transactions lead to an excessive concentration of patent rights. We show that small firms disproportionately sell and acquire more patents than large firms, and find no evidence that patent trading brings about a significant concentration of patent rights in the hands of large firms. We find that the match between new patented innovations and the original inventor's patent portfolio plays an important role in how successful firms are at generating value from their patents, and in the decision to sell a patent. And among the traded patents, we show that patent acquisitions respond to complementarities between the acquired patented innovation and the buyer's technological capabilities to adopt it. Our empirical analysis uses a new, comprehensive data set that matches information on patent trades and the identity of patent owners over a patent's lifetime.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18982.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18982
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