[A2k] High Technology Entrepreneurs and the Patent System: Results of the 2008 Berkeley Patent Survey

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Thu Oct 14 19:32:11 PDT 2010


<SNIP>

We offer description and analysis of the 2008 Berkeley Patent Survey,  
summarizing the responses of 1,332 U.S.-based technology startups in  
the biotechnology, medical device, IT hardware, software, and Internet  
sectors. We discover that holding patents is more widespread among  
technology startups than has been previously reported, but that the  
patterns and drivers of holding patents are industry and context  
specific. Surprisingly, startup executives report in general that  
patents are providing relatively weak incentives for core activities  
in the innovation process.

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http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1429049

  High Technology Entrepreneurs and the Patent System: Results of the  
2008 Berkeley Patent Survey

Stuart J. H. Graham
Georgia Institute of Technology - College of Management; University of  
California, Berkeley School of Law - BCLT

Robert P. Merges
University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Pamela Samuelson
University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Ted M. Sichelman
University of San Diego School of Law


June 30, 2009

Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 255-327, 2009
CELS 2009 4th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper

Abstract:
We offer description and analysis of the 2008 Berkeley Patent Survey,  
summarizing the responses of 1,332 U.S.-based technology startups in  
the biotechnology, medical device, IT hardware, software, and Internet  
sectors. We discover that holding patents is more widespread among  
technology startups than has been previously reported, but that the  
patterns and drivers of holding patents are industry and context  
specific. Surprisingly, startup executives report in general that  
patents are providing relatively weak incentives for core activities  
in the innovation process. Our analysis uncovers that the drivers of  
startup patenting are often associated with capturing competitive  
advantage, and the associated goals of preventing technology copying,  
securing financing, and enhancing reputation - although again these  
and other motives depend on firm and industry factors. We also find  
substantial differences in the roles played by patents for startups in  
the biotechnology and medical device sectors - where patents are more  
commonly used and considered important - as compared to those  
operating in the software and Internet fields - where they are less  
useful. Interestingly, venture-backed IT hardware startups tend to  
resemble those in health-related fields in terms of their use of and  
motives for patenting. We generally find a wide disparity between the  
patenting behavior of venture-backed technology startups and those  
that are not funded with venture capital. We also discover that, when  
choosing not to patent major innovations, startups often cite to cost  
considerations, although again the motives to forgo patenting differ  
according to firm and industry characteristics. The respondents to our  
survey also generally report that checking the patent literature and  
licensing patents from others is reasonably common, although there too  
results differ according to the context. Other findings are discussed.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Patents, Innovation, Intellectual Property

JEL Classifications: L26, O31, O32, O34, O38

Working Paper Series



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Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)
thiru at keionline.org


Tel: +41 22 791 6727
Mobile: +41 76 508 0997








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