From Science to License: An exploratory analysis of the value of academic patents
This paper analyses the industrial and entrepreneurial value of 334 patent families applied for by six major Belgian universities. It identifies the value determinants underlying the patent documents and highlights the positive and significant impact of collaboration and tacit scientific knowledge of the inventors’ team on the probability to get licensed. It also shows that there are technological differences between patents licensed to existing companies and the ones licensed to spin-offs. It suggests that existing companies are more likely to license technologies to be cited by academia when spin-offs exploit academic patents that are cited by the industry. These results advocate that existing companies and start-ups are two different valorisation patterns to commercialise different types of academic technologies. The paper stresses also the importance of collaboration between public and corporate research teams in order to get patent licensed. It pleads for a better management and valorisation sheme of patents co-applied for by many academic assignees and draws attention on the need to focus on academic researchers with a high scientific profile in terms of publications in order to crystallize their tacit knowledge into valuable patents.
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