University patenting and licensing activity: A review of the literature

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, there has been a growing view that universities could and should play a larger and more direct role in assisting industry and promoting national competitiveness. This review of the literature on university patenting and licensing activity is based on 125 papers published between 1980 and 2004, which were obtained by querying ABI/INFORM and EconLit using as key-words "university", "patent", "license", "Bayh-Dole", "triple helix" and by an abstract-by-abstract reading of all issues of 15 scientific journals and the NBER working papers database since 1995. Major findings include that the surge of university patents did not happen at the expense of their quality, nor of the quality of research. Moreover, scientific excellence and technology transfer activities mutually reinforce. Finally, university patenting and related activities need a fertile context to develop both inside and outside the campus. The US success story cannot be imitated by simply changing IP laws and by transferring ownership of IPRs from the inventors to the performing institutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-207
Number of pages11
JournalResearch Evaluation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'University patenting and licensing activity: A review of the literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this