The Role of Patents for Bridging the Science to Market Gap

40 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2006 Last revised: 30 Oct 2014

See all articles by Thomas F. Hellmann

Thomas F. Hellmann

University of Oxford - Said Business School; University of Oxford - Said Business School

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Date Written: July 2005

Abstract

This paper examines an ex-post rationale for the patenting of scientific discoveries. In this model,scientist do not know which firms can make use of their discoveries, and firms do not know whichscientific discoveries might be useful to them. To bridge this gap, either or both sides need to engagein costly search activities. Patents determine the appropriability of scientific discoveries, whichaffects the scientists. and firms. willingness to engage in search. Patents decrease disseminationwhen the search intensity of firms is sufficiently elastic, relative to that of scientists. The model alsoexamines the role of universities. Patents facilitate the delegation of search activities to theuniversities%u2019 technology transfer offices, which enables efficient specialization. Rather thandistracting scientists from doing research, patenting may be a complement to doing research.

Suggested Citation

Hellmann, Thomas F., The Role of Patents for Bridging the Science to Market Gap (July 2005). NBER Working Paper No. w11460. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=755696

Thomas F. Hellmann (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

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Oxford, OX1 1HP
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HOME PAGE: http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/community/people/thomas-hellmann

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain
+44 (0)1865 288937 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/community/people/thomas-hellmann

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