Main Determinants of Patent Transfers in Sweden : An Empirical Study of the Market for Ideas

University essay from KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM); KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM)

Abstract: What patents are traded and who trades them? This research aims to determine the main factors affecting a patent's propensity to be traded on the Swedish Market for Ideas, and to what extent. Theories of the Economics of Intellectual Property Transfers constitute the foundation of the research focus, in combination with earlier research. The factors being studied are divided into patent characteristics and firm characteristics. To the extent of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to provide empirical evidence of determinants of the Swedish market for patent transfers. Data is triangulated from three data sources (legal data from EPO, patent data from PATSTAT and firm data from Serrano Database). Hence, a combined data set with extensive information is analyzed by both descriptive statistics and regression analysis to approach four Hypothesis. Through the use of Logit regression model the binary outcome of whether a patent is traded or not is assessed. Furthermore, Negative Binomial estimators and Poisson model address the likelihood of the number of times a patent is being traded. The main findings are; (1a) patents of higher value, indicated by the number of citations, have a higher likelihood to be transferred, (1b) patents of a younger age are more frequently traded. Additionally, (2a) larger firms, to a higher extent, engage in patent transfers. The results are however mixed concerning the effect on firm size on the propensity to change owner. Lastly (2b), transferred patents are mainly within information technologies. In a competitive environment where the share of intangible assets is increasing and a large fraction of patents remain unused, there are efficiency gains to be realized by a developed Market for Ideas. This research, therefore, provides a contribution to a novel research area, with implications for both policy makers and managers, regarding the increased importance of the strategic use of intellectual property.

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