That's Classified! Inventing a New Patent Taxonomy

91 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2020

See all articles by Stephen Billington

Stephen Billington

Ulster University

Alan Hanna

Queen's University Belfast; Queen's University Belfast - Queen's Management School

Date Written: May 1, 2020

Abstract

We investigate how patent classification influences the interpretation of patent statistics. Innovation researchers currently make use of various patent classification schemas, which are hard to replicate. Using machine learning techniques, we construct a transparent, replicable and adaptable patent taxonomy, and a new automated methodology for classifying patents. We then contrast our new schema with existing ones using a long-run historical patent dataset. We find quantitative analysis of patent characteristics are sensitive to the choice of classification; our interpretation of regression coefficients is schema-dependent. We suggest much of the innovation literature should be carefully interpreted in light of our findings.

Keywords: Innovation, Invention, Machine Learning, Patents, Patent Classification, Taxonomy, Economic History

JEL Classification: K11, N24, N74, O31, O33

Suggested Citation

Billington, Stephen and Hanna, Alan, That's Classified! Inventing a New Patent Taxonomy (May 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3606142 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3606142

Stephen Billington (Contact Author)

Ulster University ( email )

Shore Road
Newtownabbey BT37 0QB, Northern Ireland
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://pure.ulster.ac.uk/en/persons/stephen-billington

Alan Hanna

Queen's University Belfast ( email )

185 Stranmillis Rd
Belfast, BT9 5EE
United Kingdom
+44 (0)28 9097 4200 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://qub.ac.uk/mgt/

Queen's University Belfast - Queen's Management School ( email )

Riddel Hall
185 Stranmillis Road
Belfast, BT9 5EE
United Kingdom

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