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The impact of partners’ technological diversification in joint patenting: A study on firm-PRO collaborations

Angelo Natalicchio (Department of Mechanics, Mathematics, and Management, Politecnico di Bari, Bari, Italy)
Antonio Messeni Petruzzelli (Department of Mechanics, Mathematics, and Management, Politecnico di Bari, Bari, Italy)
Achille Claudio Garavelli (Department of Mechanics, Mathematics, and Management, Politecnico di Bari, Bari, Italy)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand if and how the technological diversifications of collaborating firms and public research organisations (PROs) affect the technological impact of the resulting joint-patented innovations.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conduct an analysis on a database of 590 dyadic joint patents, assigned to both firms and PROs, registered from 1976 to 2010 to the US Patent and Trademark Office and belonging to green technological classes, as defined by the International Patent Classification green inventory.

Findings

The study reveals that the assignees’ technological diversification has a significant influence on the impact of the patents jointly developed. Indeed, the results show that the most impactful joint patents result from collaborations involving technologically diversified firms.

Research limitations/implications

This research sheds further light on the establishment of R&D collaborations between firms and PROs to jointly innovate. Specifically, it provides a novel perspective to investigate the impact of joint patents, by focussing on the assignees’ technological profile.

Practical implications

The present work suggests that firms characterised by a higher degree of technological diversification are more likely to co-develop patent of higher technological impact, as resulting from collaboration with PROs.

Originality/value

This study investigates the factors affecting the impact of joint patents resulting from collaborations between firms and PROs. In particular, the present research focusses on the effect of a relevant characteristic of the partners, such as their technological diversification.

Keywords

Citation

Natalicchio, A., Messeni Petruzzelli, A. and Garavelli, A.C. (2017), "The impact of partners’ technological diversification in joint patenting: A study on firm-PRO collaborations", Management Decision, Vol. 55 No. 6, pp. 1248-1264. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-03-2016-0178

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited