Uncovering Gpts with Patent Data

41 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2004 Last revised: 16 Apr 2022

See all articles by Bronwyn H. Hall

Bronwyn H. Hall

University of California at Berkeley; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Manuel Trajtenberg

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: November 2004

Abstract

This paper asks the question: Can we see evidence of General Purpose Technologies in patent data? Using data on three million US patents granted between 1967 and 1999, and their citations received between 1975 and 2002, we construct a number of measures of GPTs, including generality, number of citations, and patent class growth, for patents themselves and for the patents that cite the patents. A selection of the top twenty patents in the tails of the distribution of several of these measures yields a set of mostly ICT technologies, of which the most important are those underlying transactions on the internet and object-oriented software. We conclude with a brief discussion of the problems we encountered in developing our measures and suggestions for future work in this area.

Suggested Citation

Hall, Bronwyn H. and Trajtenberg, Manuel, Uncovering Gpts with Patent Data (November 2004). NBER Working Paper No. w10901, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=618583

Bronwyn H. Hall (Contact Author)

University of California at Berkeley ( email )

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Manuel Trajtenberg

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

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