Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1562678
 
 

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Patenting by Entrepreneurs: An Empirical Study


Stuart J. H. Graham


Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business; United States Patent and Trademark Office

Ted M. Sichelman


University of San Diego School of Law

September 6, 2010

Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review, Vol. 17, pp. 111-180, 2010

Abstract:     
The 2008 Berkeley Patent Survey is the first comprehensive investigation in the United States of patenting by entrepreneurs. In this Article, we use the survey results to explain why entrepreneurs and startup companies patent (and choose not to do so). We first briefly explore the dominant theories in the literature of why entrepreneurs file for patents and why they forgo patenting. Next, we describe the previous - and very limited - empirical data on the topic. Finally, we examine the results of the 2008 Berkeley Patent Survey. In addition to confirming the importance of patents to the biotechnology and medical device industries, we also find that patents appear to play a more important role in preventing competition for software entrepreneurs than previously believed. Additionally, startup firms in all industries--but especially in the biotechnology and medical-device sectors - use patents for "strategic" reasons, such as gaining leverage in cross-licensing negotiations, as well as "signaling" reasons, such as improving their chances of securing investment. We also find that a large share of entrepreneurs forgo patenting their inventions because the cost of doing so is too high. We conclude by briefly discussing potential policy implications of our findings.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 70

Keywords: Entrepreneurs, patents, startups, early-stage companies, venture capital

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Date posted: March 4, 2010 ; Last revised: March 30, 2013

Suggested Citation

Graham, Stuart J. H. and Sichelman, Ted M., Patenting by Entrepreneurs: An Empirical Study (September 6, 2010). Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review, Vol. 17, pp. 111-180, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1562678

Contact Information

Stuart J.H. Graham
Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business ( email )
800 W. Peachtree Str. NW
Atlanta, GA 30308
United States
404-385-5107 (Phone)
404-894-6030 (Fax)
United States Patent and Trademark Office ( email )
600 Dulany Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.uspto.gov
Ted M. Sichelman (Contact Author)
University of San Diego School of Law ( email )
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States
(619) 260-7512 (Phone)
(619) 260-2748 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.sandiego.edu/law/academics/faculty/bio.php?id=795
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