Do Patents Alter the Direction of Scientific Inquiry? Evidence from a Survey of Academic Scientists

Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series No. 18/10

25 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2011

See all articles by Paul H. Jensen

Paul H. Jensen

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research

Elizabeth Webster

Swinburne University of Technology; University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research

Date Written: October 26, 2010

Abstract

We use data from 3000 academic scientists to estimate the effects of other parties’ patents on the academics’ research. Nearly half of all scientists report that their choice of research projects has been affected by the presence of other parties’ patents. We find that transaction costs and the culture of the workplace have the largest influence over whether or not patents affect the direction of research but that scientists’ understanding of patent law; their recent experience seeking permission to use patented material; and the source of research funds are also significant.

Keywords: Public Science, Innovation, R&D, Invention, Public Research, Patent

JEL Classification: O31, O34

Suggested Citation

Jensen, Paul H. and Webster, Elizabeth M., Do Patents Alter the Direction of Scientific Inquiry? Evidence from a Survey of Academic Scientists (October 26, 2010). Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series No. 18/10, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1740106 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1740106

Paul H. Jensen (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

Elizabeth M. Webster

Swinburne University of Technology ( email )

Cnr Wakefield and William Streets, Hawthorn Victor
3122 Victoria, Victoria 3122
Australia

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

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