This paper presents the results of a survey on a regional sample of Italian inventors who, over the period 1991-2005, have submitted patent applications to the European Patent Office. The inventors' features and patenting activities are mainly examined according to the size of the firms they are working in. Compared to those coming from medium-large companies, `small inventors' (encompassing employees or owners of small firms and independent inventors) have a lower educational level, ascribe less importance to codified sources of knowledge and are less productive in terms of patent applications. However, by using forward citations and other indicators, it emerges that there is no difference in the average quality of patented inventions of the two groups. Nevertheless, one third of small inventors evaluates negatively its patenting experience, while it is true for only a tiny fraction of larger patentees. On the basis of further interviews, we find that the inventors' assessments are particularly influenced by their different capabilities to enforce intellectual property rights.
European patents, European patents, Firm size, Firm size, Intellectual property rights, Intellectual property rights, Inventors, Patent quality, Patent quality
In order to set up a list of libraries that you have access to,
you must first login
or sign up.
Then set up a personal list of libraries from your profile page by
clicking on your user name at the top right of any screen.