The Role of Patents for Bridging the Science to Market Gap

41 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2006

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: March 2006

Abstract

This paper examines an ex-post rationale for the patenting of scientific discoveries. In this model, scientists do not know which firms can make use of their discoveries, and firms do not know which scientific discoveries might be useful to them. To bridge this gap, either or both sides need to engage in costly search activities. Patents determine the appropriability of scientific discoveries, which affects the scientists' and firms' willingness to engage in search. Patents increase (decrease) dissemination when the search intensity of firms is sufficiently inelastic (elastic), relative to that of scientists. The model also examines the role of universities. Patents facilitate the delegation of search activities to the universities' technology transfer offices, which enables efficient specialization. Rather than distracting scientists from doing research, patenting may be a complement to doing research.

Keywords: patents, intellectual property, search, diffusion

JEL Classification: O33, O34, M13

Suggested Citation

Hellmann, Thomas F., The Role of Patents for Bridging the Science to Market Gap (March 2006). Sauder School of Business Working Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=925704 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.925704

Thomas F. Hellmann (Contact Author)

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

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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