Title

US universities’ net returns from patenting and licensing: a quantile regression analysis

Campus Units

Economics, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Submitted Manuscript

Publication Date

2009

Journal or Book Title

Economics of Innovation and New Technology

Volume

18

Issue

2

First Page or Article ID Number

123

Last Page

137

DOI

10.1080/10438590701709025

Abstract

Consistent with the rights and incentives provided by the Bayh–Dole Act of 1980, US universities have increased their involvement in patenting and licensing activities through their own technology transfer offices. Only a few US universities are obtaining large returns, however, whereas others are continuing with these activities despite negligible or negative returns. We assess the US universities’ potential to generate returns from licensing activities by modeling and estimating quantiles of the distribution of net licensing returns conditional on some of their structural characteristics. We find limited prospects for public universities without a medical school everywhere in their distribution. Other groups of universities (private, and public with a medical school) can expect better but still fairly modest returns. These findings call into question the appropriateness of the revenue-generating motive for the aggressive rate of patenting and licensing by US universities.

JEL Classification

C13, L31, L33, O31, O32

Comments

This is a working a paper of an article from Economics of Innovation and New Technology 18 (2009): 123, doi: 10.1080/10438590701709025.