The Effect of Patent Protection on Inventor Mobility

Management Science, Volume 66, Issue 12, 2020, Pages 5485-5504

47 Pages Posted: 2 May 2017 Last revised: 16 Dec 2020

See all articles by Eduardo Melero

Eduardo Melero

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Business Administration

Neus Palomeras

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Business Administration

David Wehrheim

IESE Business School

Date Written: December 20, 2017

Abstract

This article investigates the effect of patent protection on the mobility of early-career employee-inventors. Using data on patent applications filed at the US Patent and Trademark Office between 2001 and 2012 and examiner leniency as a source of exogenous variation in patent protection, we find that one additional patent granted decreases the likelihood of changing employers, on average, by 23 percent. This decrease is stronger when the employee has fewer coinventors, works outside the core of the firm, and produces more basic-research innovations. These findings are consistent with the idea that patents turn innovation-related skills into patent-holder-specific human capital.

Keywords: inventors, patents, mobility, specific human capital, examiner leniency

JEL Classification: J62, O32, O30, O43

Suggested Citation

Melero, Eduardo and Palomeras, Neus and Wehrheim, David, The Effect of Patent Protection on Inventor Mobility (December 20, 2017). Management Science, Volume 66, Issue 12, 2020, Pages 5485-5504, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2961312 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2961312

Eduardo Melero (Contact Author)

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Business Administration ( email )

Calle Madrid 126
Getafe, Madrid, Madrid 28903
Spain

Neus Palomeras

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Business Administration ( email )

Calle Madrid 126
Getafe, Madrid, Madrid 28903
Spain

David Wehrheim

IESE Business School ( email )

Camino Cerro del Ɓguila, 3
Madrid, Madrid 28023
Spain

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