Title: How patent experts create patent breadth

Authors: Karin Beukel

Addresses: Unit for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management, Department for Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 25, Building C. Room 0.203, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmar

Abstract: Science, as an input to patented inventions, is a fundamental of economic growth. However, our understanding of how science is transformed into patents is limited. In the present paper, I seek to fill this gap by examining the micro-foundations of science-patent transformations. Using an inductive grounded theory approach to study the transformation of 12 scientific discoveries into patents, I recast the relationship between science and patents: I show it as a particular process that affects patent breadth. Exploiting surplus patent breadth depends on the processes of abstraction and cognitive variety, which can be mobilised by patenting experts. The theory is tested using a recently published algebraic interpretive method for examining causal relationships in small-N studies.

Keywords: patent; R&D; science; scientific discoveries; patent strategy; case study; theory building; narratives; Bayesian method; micro-foundations; interruption; cognitive variety; abstraction.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIPM.2019.100202

International Journal of Intellectual Property Management, 2019 Vol.9 No.2, pp.91 - 119

Accepted: 03 Aug 2016
Published online: 18 Jun 2019 *

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