Open innovation and patenting activity in health care

Beatrice Orlando (Department of Economics and Management, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy)
Luca Vincenzo Ballestra (Department of Statistical Sciences, Universita degli Studi di Bologna, Bologna, Italy)
Domitilla Magni (Department of Business Studies, Roma Tre University, Roma, Italy)
Francesco Ciampi (Department of Economics and Management, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Florence, Italy)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Publication date: 2 September 2020



The study aims to explore the interplay between open innovation and intellectual property. Differently from previous studies, we argue that open innovation fosters firm's patenting activity.


We use linear regression analysis to test model's hypotheses. Data are drawn from the Eurostat statistics and refer to a large sample of European firms (NACE Rev.2).


The findings confirm that open innovation fosters patenting activity in health care, also thanks to huge governments' expenditures in this market.

Research limitations/implications

The study focuses solely on European firms and it adopts a traditional linear approach. So, we cannot exclude that different dynamics may occur across European borders. Future research should address this concern by focusing on multi-country comparative studies.

Practical implications

Open innovation is the most suitable model for health industry, because it improves both innovation performance and intellectual capital of firms.


The study tackles an existing gap of the literature by considering how the presence of large customers impacts the strength of intellectual property protection.



Orlando, B., Ballestra, L.V., Magni, D. and Ciampi, F. (2020), "Open innovation and patenting activity in health care", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 384-402.

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