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Innovation strategy and the patenting behavior of firms

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  • Carine Peeters
  • Bruno Van Pottelsberghe

Abstract

This paper investigates whether firms' innovation strategies affect their patenting behavior, as measured by both the probability of having a patent portfolio and the number of active patents held. Three main dimensions of an innovation strategy are taken into account: the relative importance of basic research, applied research and development work in total R&D activities, the product or process orientation of innovation efforts, and the extent to which firms enter into collaborative R&D with other institutions. The major findings can be summarized as follows: (1) taking into account the various dimensions of an innovation strategy turns out to approximate the patenting behavior of firms better than the traditional Schumpeterian hypotheses related to firm size and market power; (2) there is a positive relationship between the patent portfolio of firms and an outward-oriented innovation strategy characterized by R&D partnerships with external organizations - scientific institutions and competitors in particular; (3) process-oriented innovators patent less than product-oriented innovators; (4) a stronger focus on basic and applied research is associated with a more active patenting behavior; (5) firms that perceive high barriers to innovation (internal, risk-related or external barriers) have smaller patent portfolios; (6) the perceived limitations of the patent system do not significantly influence the patenting behavior, suggesting that firms patent for other strategic reasons than merely protecting innovation rents.

Suggested Citation

  • Carine Peeters & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2006. "Innovation strategy and the patenting behavior of firms," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/167553, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/167553 Note: SCOPUS: cp.j
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A, 1986. "Patents and R and D: Is There a Lag?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(2), pages 265-283, June.
    2. Veugelers, Reinhilde & Cassiman, Bruno, 1999. "Make and buy in innovation strategies: evidence from Belgian manufacturing firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 63-80, January.
    3. Baldwin, John R. & Hanel, Peter & Sabourin, David, 2000. "Determinants of Innovative Activity in Canadian Manufacturing Firms: The Role of Intellectual Property Rights," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2000122e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    4. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Cohen, Wesley M. & Levin, Richard C., 1989. "Empirical studies of innovation and market structure," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 18, pages 1059-1107 Elsevier.
    6. Brouwer, Erik & Kleinknecht, Alfred, 1999. "Innovative output, and a firm's propensity to patent.: An exploration of CIS micro data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 615-624, August.
    7. Peeters, Carine & Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno van, 2003. "Measuring Innovation Competencies and Performances: A Survey of Large Firms in Belgium," IIR Working Paper 03-16, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    8. 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.
    9. Loof, Hans & Heshmati, Almas, 2002. "Knowledge capital and performance heterogeneity: : A firm-level innovation study," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 61-85, March.
    10. Peeters, Carine & Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno van, 2003. "Organizational Competencies and Innovation Performances: The Case of Large Firms in Belgium," IIR Working Paper 03-19, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    11. Cassiman, Bruno & Perez-Castrillo, David & Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2002. "Endogenizing know-how flows through the nature of R&D investments," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 775-799, June.
    12. Hausman, Jerry & Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 909-938, July.
    13. Gilbert, Richard J & Newbery, David M G, 1982. "Preemptive Patenting and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 514-526, June.
    14. Mansfield, Edwin & Schwartz, Mark & Wagner, Samuel, 1981. "Imitation Costs and Patents: An Empirical Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(364), pages 907-918, December.
    15. Scherer, F. M., 1983. "The propensity to patent," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 107-128, March.
    16. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3, Specia), pages 783-832.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Collaborative R&D; Innovation strategy; Patent portfolio; Patent system; Product innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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