Academic Patent Quality and Quantity Before and after the Bayh-Dole Act in the United States

Posted: 13 Dec 2006

See all articles by David C. Mowery

David C. Mowery

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Arvids A. Ziedonis

KU Leuven - Faculty of Economics and Business; Department of Management, Strategy, and Innovation

Abstract

This paper summarizes the results of empirical analyses of data on the characteristics of the pre- and post-1980 patents of three leading US academic patenters - the University of California, Stanford University, and Columbia University. We complement the analysis of these institutions with an analysis of the characteristics of the patents issued to all US universities before and after 1980. Our analysis suggests that the effects of the Bayh-Dole act on the content of academic research and patenting at Stanford and the University of California were modest. The most significant change in the content of research at these universities, one associated with increased patenting and licensing at both universities before and after 1980, was the rise of biomedical research and inventive activity, but Bayh-Dole had little to do with this growth. Both UC and Stanford University administrators intensified their efforts to market faculty inventions in the wake of Bayh-Dole. This enlargement of the pool of marketed inventions appears to have reduced the commercial "yield" of this population at both universities. But we find no decline in the "importance" or "generality" of the post-1980 patents of these two universities. The analysis of overall US university patenting suggests that the patents issued to institutions that entered into patenting and licensing after the effective date of the Bayh-Dole act are indeed less important and less general than the patents issued before and after 1980 to US universities with longer experience in patenting. Inexperienced academic patenters appear to have obtained patents that proved to be less significant (in terms of the rate and breadth of their subsequent citations) than those issuing to more experienced university patenters. Bayh-Dole's effects on entry therefore may be as important as any effects of the act on the internal "research culture" of US universities in explaining any decline in the importance and generality of US academic patents after 1980.

Keywords: Patents, U.S. Universities, Bayh-Dole Act

JEL Classification: O3

Suggested Citation

Mowery, David C. and Ziedonis, Arvids Alexander, Academic Patent Quality and Quantity Before and after the Bayh-Dole Act in the United States. Research Policy, Vol. 31, pp. 399-418, 2002, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=951348

David C. Mowery

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Arvids Alexander Ziedonis (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Faculty of Economics and Business; Department of Management, Strategy, and Innovation ( email )

Warmoesberg 26
Brussels, 1000
Belgium

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
944
PlumX Metrics