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Exploring the "Value" of Academic Patents: IP Management Practices in UK Universities and their Implications for Third-Stream Indicators



Third-Stream activities have become increasingly important in the UK. However, valuing them in a meaningful way still poses a challenge to science and technology analysts and policy makers alike. This paper reviews the general literature on "patent value" and assesses the extent to which these established measures, including patent citation, patent family, renewal and litigation data, can be applied to the university context. Our study examines indicators of patent value for short and mid-term evaluation purposes, rather than indicators that suffer from long time lags. We also explore the extent to which differences in IP management practices at universities may have an impact on the validity and robustness of possible indicators. Our observations from four UK universities indicate that there are considerable differences between universities as to how they approach the IP management process, which in turn has implications for valuing patents and how they track activity in this area. In their current form, data as collected by universities are not sufficiently robust to serve as the basis for evaluation or resource allocation.

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  • Martin Meyer & Puay Tang, 2006. "Exploring the "Value" of Academic Patents: IP Management Practices in UK Universities and their Implications for Third-Stream Indicators," SPRU Working Paper Series 143, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  • Handle: RePEc:sru:ssewps:143

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    Cited by:

    1. Puay Tang & Dagmara Weckowska & André Campos & Michael Hobday, 2010. "Managing Intellectual Property in Universities: Patents and the Protection Failure Problem," SPRU Working Paper Series 188, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
    2. Sterzi, Valerio, 2013. "Patent quality and ownership: An analysis of UK faculty patenting," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 564-576.
    3. Anja Schoen & Bruno Pottelsberghe de la Potterie & Joachim Henkel, 2014. "Governance typology of universities’ technology transfer processes," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 435-453, June.
    4. Geuna, Aldo & Rossi, Federica, 2011. "Changes to university IPR regulations in Europe and the impact on academic patenting," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1068-1076, October.
    5. Sterzi, Valerio, 2011. "Academic patent value and knowledge transfer in the UK. Does patent ownership matter?," MPRA Paper 34955, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    intellectual property management; patenting; United Kingdom universitities; technology transfer; third stream; performance indicators;

    JEL classification:

    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions

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