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Patent Value and Citations: Creative Destruction or Strategic Disruption?

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  • David S. Abrams
  • Ufuk Akcigit
  • Jillian Popadak

Abstract

Prior work suggests that more valuable patents are cited more and this view has become standard in the empirical innovation literature. Using an NPE-derived dataset with patent-specific revenues we find that the relationship of citations to value in fact forms an inverted-U, with fewer citations at the high end of value than in the middle. Since the value of patents is concentrated in those at the high end, this is a challenge to both the empirical literature and the intuition behind it. We attempt to explain this relationship with a simple model of innovation, allowing for both productive and strategic patents. We find evidence of greater use of strategic patents where it would be most expected: among corporations, in fields of rapid development, in more recent patents and where divisional and continuation applications are employed. These findings have important implications for our basic understanding of growth, innovation, and intellectual property policy.

Suggested Citation

  • David S. Abrams & Ufuk Akcigit & Jillian Popadak, 2013. "Patent Value and Citations: Creative Destruction or Strategic Disruption?," NBER Working Papers 19647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19647
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alberto Galasso & Mark Schankerman, 2010. "Patent thickets, courts, and the market for innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(3), pages 472-503.
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    3. Manuel Trajtenberg, 1990. "A Penny for Your Quotes: Patent Citations and the Value of Innovations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 172-187, Spring.
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    5. Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Market Value, R&D, and Patents," NBER Chapters,in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 249-252 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Georg Graevenitz & Stefan Wagner & Dietmar Harhoff, 2013. "Incidence and Growth of Patent Thickets: The Impact of Technological Opportunities and Complexity," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 521-563, September.
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    8. Leonid Kogan & Dimitris Papanikolaou & Amit Seru & Noah Stoffman, 2017. "Technological Innovation, Resource Allocation, and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(2), pages 665-712.
    9. Aghion, Philippe & Akcigit, Ufuk & Howitt, Peter, 2014. "What Do We Learn From Schumpeterian Growth Theory?," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 515-563 Elsevier.
    10. Pakes, Ariel S, 1986. "Patents as Options: Some Estimates of the Value of Holding European Patent Stocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 755-784, July.
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    12. Deepak Hegde & David C. Mowery & Stuart J. H. Graham, 2009. "Pioneering Inventors or Thicket Builders: Which U.S. Firms Use Continuations in Patenting?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(7), pages 1214-1226, July.
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    15. Rosemarie Ham Ziedonis, 2004. "Don't Fence Me In: Fragmented Markets for Technology and the Patent Acquisition Strategies of Firms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(6), pages 804-820, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ufuk Akcigit & Murat Celik & Daron Acemoglu, 2014. "Young, Restless and Creative: Openness to Disruption and Creative Innovations," 2014 Meeting Papers 377, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Ufuk Akcigit & Salomé Baslandze & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2016. "Taxation and the International Mobility of Inventors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 2930-2981, October.
    3. Antoine Dechezleprêtre & Yann Ménière & Myra Mohnen, 2017. "International patent families: from application strategies to statistical indicators," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 111(2), pages 793-828, May.
    4. repec:bpj:jbvela:v:12:y:2017:i:1:p:101-121:n:4 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:bla:jinfst:v:68:y:2017:i:6:p:1360-1374 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Alex Bell & Raj Chetty & Xavier Jaravel & Neviana Petkova & John Van Reenen, 2017. "Who Becomes an Inventor in America? The Importance of Exposure to Innovation," CEP Discussion Papers dp1519, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    7. Andreas Reinstaller & Peter Reschenhofer, 2017. "Using PageRank in the analysis of technological progress through patents: an illustration for biotechnological inventions," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 113(3), pages 1407-1438, December.
    8. Maryann P. Feldman & Dieter F. Kogler & David L. Rigby, 2015. "rKnowledge: The Spatial Diffusion and Adoption of rDNA Methods," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(5), pages 798-817, May.
    9. Adam B. Jaffe & Gaétan de Rassenfosse, 2017. "Patent citation data in social science research: Overview and best practices," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 68(6), pages 1360-1374, June.
    10. Wagner, Stefan & Wakeman, Simon, 2016. "What do patent-based measures tell us about product commercialization? Evidence from the pharmaceutical industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 1091-1102.
    11. Anne Marie Knott & Carl Vieregger, 2016. "Reconciling the Firm Size and Innovation Puzzle," Working Papers 16-20r, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    12. Petra Moser & Joerg Ohmstedt & Paul W. Rhode, 2015. "Patent Citations and the Size of the Inventive Step - Evidence from Hybrid Corn," NBER Working Papers 21443, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Jiri Schwarz & Martin Stepanek, 2016. "Patents: A Means to Innovation or Strategic Ends?," Working Papers IES 2016/08, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Apr 2016.
    14. Neel U. Sukhatme & Judd N. L. Cramer, 2013. "Optimal Patent Term and Cross-Industry Measures of Patent Term Sensitivity," Working Papers 1484, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K1 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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