Playing the ‘Name Game’ to Identify University Patents in Germany
18 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2013
Date Written: July 3, 2013
Identifying academic inventors is crucial to understanding IP-related university-to-industry technology transfer and analyzing university patent portfolios. However, such identification requires solving the “who is who” problem at the individual inventor level. This article describes data collection and matching techniques applied to identify academic inventors in Germany. To manage the large Germany dataset, we adjusted a matching technique applied in prior research by comparing the inventor and professor names in the first step after cleaning. Moreover, we suggest a new approach for determining the similarity score. Instead of using a cumulative similarity score, we use the data to discern criteria combinations that best identify true positive matches. We evaluated our methodology by applying it to the EP-INV-PatStat database and comparing its results with using the professor title to identify academic inventors. For Germany, we found that the results are less sensitive to the name comparison algorithm than the specific filtering criteria used. Inventor identification based on the professor title underestimates patenting activity by academics.
Keywords: Name matching algorithm, University patents, Patent database, German universities
JEL Classification: C81, I23, O30, O34
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