Benchmarking U.S. University Patent Value and Commercialization Efforts: A New Approach
71 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2018 Last revised: 9 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 7, 2019
Despite the significance of patented university research, it is difficult to measure the economic value of their patented inventions and observe the extent to which universities are able to capture such value through patent licensing. Moving beyond assessing commercialization performance by simple statistics, we propose a new approach to benchmarking university patents and commercialization performance based on comparative corporate patent value. Our procedure involves matching university patents to patents granted to public corporations with similar patent characteristics to estimate the “potential value” of these university patents by the stock market reactions to matched corporate patent grants. We then calibrate an empirical patent valuation model for these estimated values of university patents by employing technology-level licensing data from a leading US research university. In aggregate, we compare the estimated potential values of a university’s patent portfolio to its annual licensing income, and find that universities realize on average 5-9% of the estimated potential value through licensing income. Finally, we investigate the correlates of university-level potential patent value and suggest avenues for future research.
Keywords: University Patents; Patent Value; Patent Licensing
JEL Classification: G12; L30; O30
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