Individual versus Institutional Ownership of University-Discovered Inventions

45 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2017

See all articles by Dirk Czarnitzki

Dirk Czarnitzki

KU Leuven - Department of Managerial Economics, Strategy, and Innovation

Thorsten Doherr

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Katrin Hussinger

Universite du Luxembourg; Catholic University of Leuven (KUL); Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW)

Paula Schliessler

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Andrew A. Toole

US Patent and Trademark Office

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2017

Abstract

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 of academic researchers 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. Our results highlight the critical importance of understanding the nature and strength of faculty-industry relationships before undertaking policy initiatives intended to foster technology transfer.

Keywords: Intellectual property, patents, technology transfer, policy evaluation

JEL Classification: O34, O38

Suggested Citation

Czarnitzki, Dirk and Doherr, Thorsten and Hussinger, Katrin and Schliessler, Paula and Toole, Andrew A., Individual versus Institutional Ownership of University-Discovered Inventions (June 2017). USPTO Economic Working Paper No. 2017-07. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2995672 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2995672

Dirk Czarnitzki

KU Leuven - Department of Managerial Economics, Strategy, and Innovation ( email )

Naamsestraat 69 bus 3500
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

Thorsten Doherr

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68161 Mannheim
Germany

Katrin Hussinger

Universite du Luxembourg ( email )

L-1511 Luxembourg
Luxembourg

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) ( email )

Steunpunt O&O Statistieken
Dekenstraat 2
B-3000 Leuven
Belgium

Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

Paula Schliessler

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

Andrew A. Toole (Contact Author)

US Patent and Trademark Office ( email )

Alexandria
VA 22313-1451
United States

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