The diffusion of scientific discoveries in government laboratories: The role of patents filed by government scientists.

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From: Research Policy(Vol. 51, Issue 5)
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 361 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Government laboratory; Federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs); Scientific discovery; Patent protection; Knowledge dissemination; Science-based inventions Highlights * While a patent filed by government scientists decreases the rate of follow-on patents in overlapping areas, it increases the rate of follow-on patents in non-overlapping technological areas. * The increase in follow-on inventions is characterized by risk-taking and original inventions. * A patent filed by government scientists mainly increases inventions by inventors in distant locations in terms of geographical and technological proximity. * The patent effect is pronounced when the government scientists involved in the focal discovery have fewer social connections and when the scientific field is less familiar in the industry. Abstract The study examines the role of a patent filed by government scientists in regard to the dissemination of scientific discoveries in government laboratories. While a patent filed by government scientists decreases the rate of follow-on patents in a technological area that overlaps with the areas of the focal patent, it increases the rate of follow-on patents in non-overlapping technological areas. The increase in follow-on inventions is attributed to risk-taking inventions, that is, inventions involve a high chance of resulting in either impactful or failure patents, rather than incremental inventions. It is also characterized by inventions with a high level of originality. Inventors in distant locations in terms of geographical and technological proximity are most affected by the patents filed by government scientists. The patent effect is pronounced when the government scientists involved in the focal discovery have fewer social connections and when the scientific field is less familiar in the industry. These findings are consistent with the idea that patenting by government scientists helps facilitate the dissemination of technological information or potential of scientific discoveries in government laboratories. Policy and managerial implications are also discussed. Author Affiliation: (a) Technology Management, Economics and Policy Program, Seoul National University (b) Technology Management, Economics, and Policy Program & Integrated Major in Smart City Global Convergence, Seoul National University * Corresponding author. Article History: Received 31 October 2020; Revised 7 February 2022; Accepted 13 February 2022 Byline: Seungryul Ryan Shin [sr0327@snu.ac.kr] (a,*), Jisoo Lee (b), Yura Rosemary Jung (a), Junseok Hwang (b)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A697225956