What characterizes firms' academic patents? Academic involvement in industrial invention in Sweden
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2012

This paper investigates the characteristics and impact of academic involvement in industrial invention processes, by comparing firms' academic patents and their non-academic patents. In contrast to previous research that studies university-owned patents, this paper analyzes firm-owned patents. These provide insight into the characteristics and relative importance of inventions resulting from university-industry collaboration. The empirical analysis in this paper is based on a database of Swedish academic patents. Our results indicate that academic involvement mainly takes place in inventions highly related to firms' technology base. The findings moreover show that firms' academic patents, as compared to their non-academic patents, have lower importance in firms' core technological fields but higher importance in marginal fields. The paper also provides an interpretation of these results, suggesting that firms involve academics for problem-solving activities in their core technological fields.

academic patents

university-industry collaboration

technological profiles

patent importance


Daniel Ljungberg

Göteborgs universitet

Tomas McKelvey

Göteborgs universitet

Industry and Innovation

1366-2716 (ISSN) 1469-8390 (eISSN)

Vol. 19 7 585-606



Ekonomi och näringsliv


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