Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A paper on European Inventors and Patents

Paola Giuri, et. al. 2007. Inventors and invention processes in Europe: Results from the PatVal-EU survey. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2007.07.008

The paper summarizes results of a survey of 9017 inventions, including the demographics of inventors and economic value of patents.

I found two things very interesting: first, the extremely low level of women participation (around 3%); second, the high level of "internal use" of patents (up to 65% in mid-size companies). The concept of "internal use" of a patent is a contradiction in terms, because the patent gives its owner a right to exclude others from using the invention. In this case, others are people inside the company, which the company prevents from using the invention. My feeling is that companies just don't know what to do with the majority of their patents, therefore, they mask their confusion or lack of IP strategy with an absurd term "internal use."

Overall, the most optimistic estimate of useful patents is 13.4%

 tags: invention, patent, strategy, control, 10x, problem

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