Monetization Strategies of University Patents Through PAEs: An Analysis of US Patent Transfers

2019 ISSI Conference Proceedings (2019 Forthcoming)

11 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2019 Last revised: 18 Jul 2019

See all articles by Stefania Fusco

Stefania Fusco

Notre Dame Law School

Francesco Lissoni

University of Bordeaux - GREThA; CRIOS - Bocconi University

Catalina Martínez

Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) - Institute of Public Goods and Policies (IPP)

Valerio Sterzi

University of Bordeaux - GREThA

Date Written: June 25, 2019

Abstract

The pressure to extract rents from academic research results has led many universities to file more patents and to rely on a growing range of monetization strategies including selling patents to Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs).

We build a database of university patents granted by the USPTO and, for each of them, we collect information about the change of ownership. A first analysis of these data shows that about 12% of university patents have been transferred at least once (including reassignments to universities, hospitals, public research centres and governmental institutions) and only a minor part has been acquired by PAEs (the 0.3% of university patents). However, we also find that most transfers of university patents to PAEs occurred in the last ten years (3.4% of transfers). These acquisitions are largely concentrated in two large PAEs that acquired about 80% of all PAEs-acquired university patents: Intellectual Ventures and Intellectual Discovery.

An econometric analysis on the characteristics of university patents transferred to PAEs shows that patents transferred to PAEs are of high quality, suggesting that PAEs cherry pick good patents for monetization purposes. PAEs acquire also older university patents than those transferred to producing companies. This fact suggests that these transfers are not linked to technology transfer.

Keywords: university patents, patent assertion entities, non-practicing entities, patent monetization, patent protection, patent enforcement, patent transfer

JEL Classification: K00, K30, K39

Suggested Citation

Fusco, Stefania and Lissoni, Francesco and Martinez, Catalina and Sterzi, Valerio, Monetization Strategies of University Patents Through PAEs: An Analysis of US Patent Transfers (June 25, 2019). 2019 ISSI Conference Proceedings (2019 Forthcoming) . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3410086 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3410086

Stefania Fusco (Contact Author)

Notre Dame Law School ( email )

1100 Eck Hall of Law
Notre Dame, IN 46556
United States
(312) 961-2955 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.nd.edu/directory/stefania-fusco/

Francesco Lissoni

University of Bordeaux - GREThA ( email )

avenue Léon Duguit
33608 Pessac cedex
France

CRIOS - Bocconi University

via Rontgen 1
Milan, MI 20122
Italy

Catalina Martinez

Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) - Institute of Public Goods and Policies (IPP) ( email )

Albasanz, 26-28
Madrid, 28037
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://www.ipp.csic.es/

Valerio Sterzi

University of Bordeaux - GREThA ( email )

avenue Léon Duguit
33608 Pessac cedex
France

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