The Value of U.S. Patents by Owner and Patent Characteristics

36 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2006  

James E. Bessen

Technology & Policy Research Initiative, BU School of Law

Date Written: December 5, 2006

Abstract

This paper uses renewal data to estimate the value of U.S. patents, controlling for patent and owner characteristics. Estimates of U.S. patent value are substantially larger than estimates for European patents, however, the ratio of U.S. patent value to R&D for firms is only about 3%. Patents issued to small patentees are much less valuable than those issued to large corporations, perhaps reflecting imperfect markets for technology. Litigated patents are more valuable, as are highly cited patents. However, patent citations explain little variance in value, suggesting limits to their use as a measure of patent quality.

Keywords: Technology, patents, innovation, patent value, markets for technology

JEL Classification: O34, O38, K1

Suggested Citation

Bessen, James E., The Value of U.S. Patents by Owner and Patent Characteristics (December 5, 2006). Boston University School of Law Working Paper No. 06-46. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=949778 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.949778

James E. Bessen (Contact Author)

Technology & Policy Research Initiative, BU School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

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