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That's classified! Inventing a new patent taxonomy

Author

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  • Billington, Stephen D.
  • Hanna, Alan J.

Abstract

Patent studies inform our understanding of innovation. Any study of patenting involves classifying patent data according to a chosen taxonomy. The literature has produced numerous taxonomies, which means patents are being classified differently across studies. This potential inconsistency is compounded by a lack of documentation provided on existing taxonomies, making them diffcult to replicate. Because of this, we develop a new patent taxonomy using machine learning techniques, and propose a new methodology to automate patent classification. We contrast existing taxonomies with our own upon a widely used patent dataset. In a regression analysis of patent classes upon patent characteristics, we show that classification bias exists: the size, statistical significance, and direction of association of coefficients depend upon how a patent dataset has been classified. We recommend investigators adopt our approach to ensure future studies are comparable and replicable.

Suggested Citation

  • Billington, Stephen D. & Hanna, Alan J., 2018. "That's classified! Inventing a new patent taxonomy," QUCEH Working Paper Series 2018-06, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:qucehw:201806
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Billington, Stephen D., 2018. ""War, what is it good for?": The industrial revolution!," QUCEH Working Paper Series 2018-12, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.
    2. Billington, Stephen D., 2018. "Patent costs and the value of inventions: Explaining patenting behaviour between England, Ireland and Scotland, 1617-1852," QUCEH Working Paper Series 2018-10, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation; Invention; Machine Learning; Patents; Patent Classification; Taxonomy; Economic History;

    JEL classification:

    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N74 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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