To Patent or Not to Patent? A Survey of Italian Inventors on Motivations, Incentives and Obstacles to University Patenting
Scientometrics, Vol. 70, No. 2, pp. 333-354
Posted: 24 Aug 2006 Last revised: 29 Jun 2014
There is little evidence on the incentives for faculty members to get involved in patenting processes, on the obstacles, and on their perceptions of actions to be taken to successfully support the commercialization of academic knowledge through patents. In this paper we present such an assessment based on Italian faculty members. Our analysis is based on a sample of 208 faculty members who appeared to be inventors of Italian university patents. Findings show that Italian professors get involved in patenting activities to enhance their prestige and reputation and to look for new stimuli for their research, while personal earnings turn out to be less important. The adoption of a university-level patent regulation reduces the obstacles perceived by academic inventors, as far as it signals universities' commitment towards creating the conditions to legitimate patenting activities and to successfully commercialize academic knowledge.
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