The Effect of Patent Protection on Inventor Mobility

54 Pages Posted: 2 May 2017 Last revised: 21 Dec 2017

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 paper investigates the effect of patents on the mobility of employee inventors. We suggest that patent rights reduce mobility by making inventors' innovation implementation skills more specific to their current employer. We analyze this question by drawing on U.S. patent application data for the period 2001--2012 and using examiner leniency as an exogenous source of variation in patent protection. The results indicate that one additional patent granted decreases inventor mobility by approximately 25 percent. The effect is stronger in cases where inventors are particularly relevant for the implementation of the innovation and in technologies where patents are more effective.

Keywords: Inventors, patents, mobility, appropriation, firm-specific human capital

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). 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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