The organizational advantage in early inventing and patenting: Empirical evidence from interference proceedings

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Recent research suggests that individual inventors produce less valuable inventions than those operating within organizational boundaries. The current study demonstrates that organizations invent and file for patents earlier than individuals. Analyses of priority contests between competing agents reveal that public and private corporations invent faster than individual inventors, whereas public and private corporations, universities, and research institutes patent their inventions earlier than do individuals. We examine the outcomes of patent interference proceedings involving about 650 U.S. patents and patent applications occurring between 2005 and 2013. We theorize that individual inventors lack resources as well as functional and integrative capabilities needed to invent and patent as quickly as organizations. The paper offers policy-making insights and contributes quantitative-based grounds for further research into more efficient and effective intellectual property regimes.

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© 2015 Elsevier B.V. Publisher's version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.technovation.2015.03.005

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