Mapping the Technological Landscape: Measuring Technology Distance, Technological Footprints, and Technology Evolution
Research Policy, Volume 45, pp. 81–96, 2016
16 Pages Posted: 19 May 2016
Date Written: March 17, 2016
We develop and apply a set of measures that enable a fine-grained characterization of technological capabilities based on the USPTO database. These measures can capture the distance between any two patents, and help to identify outlier patents. They also provide a rich characterization of a firm’s technological footprint, including its depth and breadth. The measures also enable researchers to assess the technological overlap, similarity, and proximity of the technological footprints of two or more firms. At the level of the macro technology landscape, the measures can be used to explore such dynamics as technology agglomeration, knowledge spillovers, and technology landscape evolution. We show applications of each of the measures and compare the results obtained with those that would be obtained with previously existing measures of firm diversity, similarity and proximity, highlighting the advantages of the measures used here.
Keywords: Patents, Innovation, Technology, Mapping, Networks, Footprints
JEL Classification: O30, O31, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation