University patenting: Patterns of faculty motivations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Few papers address the issue of faculty motivations to patent and none comprehensively investigates why faculties decide not to patent. To fill this gap, I surveyed Italian faculty inventors of university-owned patents (N = 208) and non-inventors working in the same disciplines (N = 416). Major motivations to patent are prestige/reputation and knowledge exchange. Although universities rely almost exclusively on royalties, I show that researchers are sensitive to diverse incentives, whose importance varies according to both personal characteristics and the context. Surprisingly, patents are not perceived by non-inventors as inappropriate to academic activities or as obstacles to publications and conferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-121
Number of pages19
JournalTechnology Analysis and Strategic Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • Incentive
  • Motivation
  • Open science
  • Royalty
  • University patent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Strategy and Management


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