Title: Means becoming ends? Recent evidence from patent registration in Portugal

Authors: Hugo Pinto

Addresses: Centre for Social Studies, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal; Faculty of Economics, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139, Faro, Portugal

Abstract: Patents, commonly assumed as a means to achieve market and protect inventive efforts are however being transformed into ends, at the level of government, university and individual researcher objectives. This article presents the recent institutional changes in Portuguese Industrial Property Rights framework, which have modified collective and individual incentives for patenting. As a result, national patent requests have experienced unprecedented growth rates and higher education institutions have assumed the central role in patenting. As patents are becoming ends rather than means, it is questionable whether using patent numbers is a reliable proxy for measuring innovation and knowledge transfer.

Keywords: institutional change; knowledge transfer; technology transfer office; TTO; science commercialisation; patents; Portugal; patent registration; higher education; innovation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTTC.2013.064148

International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2013 Vol.12 No.1/2/3, pp.121 - 138

Available online: 01 Aug 2014 *

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