Title: Proactive versus reactive motivations for patenting and their impact on patent production at universities

Authors: Caroline Hussler; Julien Pénin

Addresses: Université de Strasbourg, BETA, CNRS-UMR 7522, 61 Avenue de la forêt noire, 67 000 STRASBOURG, France; Université de Technologie de Belfort-Montbéliard 90 010 BELFORT Cedex, France. ' Université de Strasbourg BETA, CNRS-UMR 7522, 61 Avenue de la forêt noire, 67 000 STRASBOURG, France

Abstract: This paper deals with patenting behaviours of university researchers and distinguishes between two motivations that academic scientists may adopt when dealing with patents: a proactive one, where scientists are patent enthusiastic and a reactive one, where scientists are more reluctant to patent, even if they might be forced to do that anyway. We use an original dataset on 173 French academic inventors (in life sciences and electronics and engineering sciences) in order to test whether the scientist's motivations to patent affect the number of patents she invents. Our econometric results indicate that a very positive perception of university patenting or a reported willingness to perform patentable research does not lead to more invented patents. Conversely, past patenting experiences seem to matter a lot: academic inventors, who already experienced successful technology transfer due to patents, are more likely to invent patents. Some slight differences emerge across scientific disciplines.

Keywords: universities; patents; patenting strategy; technology transfer; academic inventors; patenting motivation; inventions; patent production; university research; France; life sciences; electronics; engineering sciences.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2012.046616

International Journal of Technology Management, 2012 Vol.58 No.3/4, pp.213 - 235

Published online: 06 Apr 2013 *

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