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Mapping Technological Trajectories as Patent Citation Networks. An application to Data Communication Standards

Author

Listed:
  • Roberto Fontana

    () (University of Pavia)

  • Alessandro Nuvolari

    () (Eindhoven University of Technology)

  • Bart Verspagen

    () (Eindhoven University of Technology)

Abstract

We use patent citation networks to study the dynamics of technical change in Ethernet, a standard for data communication. We first consider the evolution of the broad technological system of local area networks (LANs) and we identify the most significant inventions within the specific subfield of Ethernet. Then we analyse the structure of connectivity of patent citation networks to reconstruct the main technological trajectories in this subfield. Our results suggest that these technological trajectories are characterized by the presence of a number of interconnected technological environments which cluster following an engineering logic. These clusters include the most significant patents related to 'milestones inventions' in the evolution of the LAN technology. Thus, our analysis of the structure of connectivity in patent citation networks seems appropriate to capture both the cumulativeness associated to the development of a specific technology and the significant discontinuities that punctuate the trajectory, as well as the technological interrelatedness characterising large technical systems.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto Fontana & Alessandro Nuvolari & Bart Verspagen, 2008. "Mapping Technological Trajectories as Patent Citation Networks. An application to Data Communication Standards," SPRU Working Paper Series 166, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  • Handle: RePEc:sru:ssewps:166
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    File URL: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/documents/sewp166.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Roberto Fontana & Lionel Nesta, 2006. "Product entry in a fast growing industry: the LAN switch market," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 45-64, April.
    2. Roberto Fontana, 1999. "Twinning Networks: Co-Evolution and Competition of System Component Technologies in the Local Area Network Industry," SPRU Working Paper Series 31, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
    3. William Lehr, 1996. "Compatibility Standards And Industry Competition: Two Case Studies," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(2), pages 97-112.
    4. Antonelli, Cristiano, 1995. "Localized Technological Change in the Network of Networks: The Interaction between Regulation and the Evolution of Technology in Telecommunications," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(4), pages 737-754.
    5. Michael L. Katz & Carl Shapiro, 1994. "Systems Competition and Network Effects," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 93-115, Spring.
    6. Dosi, Giovanni, 1993. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 102-103, April.
    7. von Wartburg, Iwan & Teichert, Thorsten & Rost, Katja, 2005. "Inventive progress measured by multi-stage patent citation analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1591-1607, December.
    8. Mina, A. & Ramlogan, R. & Tampubolon, G. & Metcalfe, J.S., 2007. "Mapping evolutionary trajectories: Applications to the growth and transformation of medical knowledge," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 789-806, June.
    9. David, Paul A. & Bunn, Julie Ann, 1988. "The economics of gateway technologies and network evolution: Lessons from electricity supply history," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 165-202.
    10. Thomas Grebel & Jackie Krafft & Pier-Paolo Saviotti, 2006. "On the Life Cycle of Knowledge Intensive Sectors," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 97(5), pages 63-85.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Technical systems; Technological trajectories; Patents; Network analysis; Data communications;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

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