IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/23268.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

What is a Patent Worth? Evidence from the U.S. Patent “Lottery”

Author

Listed:
  • Joan Farre-Mensa
  • Deepak Hegde
  • Alexander Ljungqvist

Abstract

We provide evidence on the value of patents to startups by leveraging the random assignment of applications to examiners with different propensities to grant patents. Using unique data on all first-time applications filed at the U.S. Patent Office since 2001, we find that startups that win the patent “lottery” by drawing lenient examiners have, on average, 55% higher employment growth and 80% higher sales growth five years later. Patent winners also pursue more, and higher quality, follow-on innovation. Winning a first patent boosts a startup’s subsequent growth and innovation by facilitating access to funding from VCs, banks, and public investors.

Suggested Citation

  • Joan Farre-Mensa & Deepak Hegde & Alexander Ljungqvist, 2017. "What is a Patent Worth? Evidence from the U.S. Patent “Lottery”," NBER Working Papers 23268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23268
    Note: CF LE PR
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w23268.pdf
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at http://www.nber.org/wwphelp.html. Free access is also available to older working papers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Patrick Gaule, 2015. "Patents and the Success of Venture-Capital Backed Startups: Using Examiner Assignment to Estimate Causal Effects," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp546, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    2. William Kerr & Shihe Fu, 2008. "The survey of industrial R&D—patent database link project," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 173-186, April.
    3. Yael V. Hochberg & Carlos Serrano & Rosemarie H. Ziedonis, 2014. "Patent Collateral, Investor Commitment, and the Market for Venture Lending," Working Papers 792, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    4. Anton, James J & Yao, Dennis A, 1994. "Expropriation and Inventions: Appropriable Rents in the Absence of Property Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 190-209, March.
    5. Heidi L. Williams, 2013. "Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation: Evidence from the Human Genome," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(1), pages 1-27.
    6. Jaffe, Adam B, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits, and Market Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 984-1001, December.
    7. Bruno Biais & Enrico Perotti, 2008. "Entrepreneurs and new ideas," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(4), pages 1105-1125.
    8. Galasso, Alberto & Schankerman, Mark, 2015. "Patents and cumulative innovation: causal evidence from the courts," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 61614, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
    10. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2000. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not)," NBER Working Papers 7552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Mark A. Lemley & Bhaven Sampat, 2012. "Examiner Characteristics and Patent Office Outcomes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 817-827, August.
    12. Yael V. Hochberg & Carlos J. Serrano & Rosemarie H. Ziedonis, 2014. "Patent Collateral, Investor Commitment, and the Market for Venture Lending," NBER Working Papers 20587, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Lerner, Josh, 1995. " Venture Capitalists and the Oversight of Private Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 301-318, March.
    14. Annamaria Conti & Jerry Thursby & Marie Thursby, 2013. "Patents as Signals for Startup Financing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 592-622, September.
    15. Natarajan Balasubramanian & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2011. "What Happens When Firms Patent? New Evidence from U.S. Economic Census Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 126-146, February.
    16. Hellmann, Thomas & Puri, Manju, 2000. "The Interaction between Product Market and Financing Strategy: The Role of Venture Capital," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(4), pages 959-984.
    17. Gorman, Michael & Sahlman, William A., 1989. "What do venture capitalists do?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 231-248, July.
    18. Simon Johnson & John McMillan, 2002. "Courts and Relational Contracts," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 221-277, April.
    19. Yael V. Hochberg & Carlos J. Serrano & Rosemarie H. Ziedonis, 2014. "Patent collateral investor commitment and the market for venture lending," Economics Working Papers 1448, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    20. Mark Schankerman, 1998. "How Valuable is Patent Protection? Estimates by Technology Field," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(1), pages 77-107, Spring.
    21. DiMasi, Joseph A. & Hansen, Ronald W. & Grabowski, Henry G., 2003. "The price of innovation: new estimates of drug development costs," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 151-185, March.
    22. Bhaven Sampat & Heidi L. Williams, 2015. "How Do Patents Affect Follow-On Innovation? Evidence from the Human Genome," NBER Working Papers 21666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Alberto Galasso & Mark Schankerman, 2015. "Patents and Cumulative Innovation: Causal Evidence from the Courts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(1), pages 317-369.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23268. 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: () or (Joanne Lustig). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.