Prolific Inventors: Who are They and Where do They Locate? Evidence from a Five Countries US Patenting Data Set
International Centre for Economic Research Working Paper No. 14/2010
37 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2010 Last revised: 29 Sep 2013
Date Written: June 16, 2010
The prolific (serial) inventors set up the core of the paper. Prolific inventors tend to have a high productivity in terms of inventions (patents) having in general more economic value. The capacity to produce a lot of inventions (patents) is termed “prolificness”. We want to deepen our knowledge about the size of their population, some of their main characteristics, the factors that explain the number patents applied. We exploit a rich data set built onto information available released by the US Patent and Trade Mark Office (USPTO) for the five more important countries as far as technological activities are concerned: Great-Britain, France, USA, Germany, Japan over a long time period (1975-2002). We give insights upon the size of the population of prolific inventors and provide new information about some of their characteristics. We carry out an empirical study in order to explain the prolific inventor patents distribution. We suggest models for estimating the effects of the main variable explaining their productivity. Binomial regressions explaining the inventor productivity after controlling for patent duration and time concentration (among others factors) show that interfirm and international mobility and technological variety (at the inventor level) affects positively the inventor productivity. But there is simultaneity. The overall results suggest that the same factors impact positively productivity with no difference across countries (with exceptions).
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