Individual versus Institutional Ownership of University-Discovered Inventions
67 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2015
Date Written: January 14, 2015
We examine how the ownership of intellectual property rights influences patenting of university-discovered inventions. In 2002, Germany transferred patent rights from faculty members to their universities. To identify the effect on the volume of patenting, we exploit the researcher-level exogeneity of the 2002 policy change using a novel researcher-level panel database that includes a control group not affected by the law change. For professors who had existing industry connections, the policy decreased patenting, but for those without prior industry connections, it increased patenting. Overall, fewer university inventions were patented following the shift from inventor to institutional ownership.
Keywords: Intellectual property, patents, technology transfer, policy evaluation
JEL Classification: O38
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