Patents and the Evaluation of R&D

  • Maria Papadakis


R&D managers, economists, and science policymakers all use patent (and patent-related) data in vastly different forms and ways, but not for altogether different reasons. In almost all cases, patents are used as some measure of the effectiveness of R&D activity. Yet in spite of the vast literature which uses patent information for analytical purposes, relatively little has been done to comprehensively present the various evaluation purposes to which patent data may be put. Far more common is the use of patent data as econometric proxies for inventiveness, innovation, or technological change; overviews of this research (Basberg, 1987) and the ways in which patent statistics have been “used and abused” (Pavitt, 1988) are typical of the review literature. Missing is instruction on the techniques, utility, and limitations of patent analysis for different kinds of R&D assessments.


Innovative Activity Patent Citation Patent System Patent Data Technical Objective 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Acs, Zoltan J. and David B. Audretsch (1989) “Patents As A Measure of Innovative Activity,” Kyklos Vol. 42: 171–180.Google Scholar
  2. Archibugi, Daniel, Sergio Cesaratto, and Giorgio Sirilli (1987) “Innovative Activity, R&D, and Patenting: The Evidence of the Survey on Innovation Diffusion in Italy,” STI Review 2 (September): 135–148.Google Scholar
  3. Basberg, Bjorn (1987) “Patents and the measurement of technological change: A survey of the literature,” Research Policy 16: 131–141.Google Scholar
  4. Basberg, Bjorn (1983) “Foreign Patenting in the U.S. As A Technology Indicator,” Research Policy 12: 227–237.Google Scholar
  5. Bozeman, Barry (1992). “Evaluating Government Technology Transfer: Can the New ‘Cooperative Development’ Policies Enhance U.S. Competitiveness?” Technology and Information Policy Program Working Paper, Syracuse University.Google Scholar
  6. Brockhoff, Klaus (1983) “The Measurement of Goal Attainment of Governmental R&D Support,” Research Policy (12): 171–182.Google Scholar
  7. Brown, Mark G. and Raynold A. Svenson (1988) “Measuring R&D Productivity,” Research-Technology Management (July-Aug.): 11–15.Google Scholar
  8. Collier, Donald W. (1977) “Measuring the Performance of R&D Departments,” Research Management (20, #2, March): 30–34.Google Scholar
  9. Collier, D.W. and R.E. Gee (1973) “A Simple Approach to Post-Evaluation of Research,” Research Management (16, #3, May): 12–17.Google Scholar
  10. Dasgupta, Partha (1988) “Patents, Priority and Imitation or, the Economics of Races and Waiting Games,” The Economic Journal 98 (March): 66–80.Google Scholar
  11. Englander, A. Steven, Robert Evenson, and Masahiru Hanazaki (undated) “R&D Innovations and the Total Factor Productivity Slowdown,” unpublished paper, Dept. of Economics and Statistics, OECD, and Dept. of Economics, Yale University.Google Scholar
  12. Ezra, Arthur A. (1975) “Technology Utilization: Incentives and Solar Energy,” Science Feb. 28: 707–713.Google Scholar
  13. Freeman, Christopher (1987) Technology, Policy, and Economic Performance: Lessons from Japan ( London: Pinter Publishers).Google Scholar
  14. Griliches, Zvi, Ariel Pakes, and Bronwyn Hall (1986) “The Value of Patents As Indicators of Inventive Activity,” National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 2083.Google Scholar
  15. Griliches, Zvi, ed. (1984) R&D, Patents, and Productivity ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press ).Google Scholar
  16. Grupp, H., U. Schmoch, and U. Kuntze (1990) “Patents as Potential Indicators of the Utility of EC Research Programmes,” Scientometrics 21: 417–445.Google Scholar
  17. Hill, Christopher T. and John A. Hansen (1988) “The Measurement of Technology and Innovation,” in J. David Roessner, ed. Government Innovation Policy ( NY: St. Martin’s Press ).Google Scholar
  18. Hodge, Melville H. Jr. (1963) “Rate Your company’s Research Productivity,” Harvard Business Review (41): 109–122.Google Scholar
  19. Jaffe, Adam B. (1989) “Characterizing the ‘Technological Position’ of Firms, With Application to Quantifying Technological Opportunity and Research Spillovers,” Research Policy 18: 87–97.Google Scholar
  20. Keller, Robert T. and Winford E. Holland (1982) “The Measurement of Performance Among Research and Development Professional Employees: A Longitudinal Analysis,” IEEE Transactions (EM-29, #2, May): 54–58.Google Scholar
  21. Krogh, Lester c., et al. (1988) “How 3M Evaluates It’s R&D Programs,” Research-Technology Management Vol. 34, #6 (Nov.-Dec.): 10–14.Google Scholar
  22. Levin, Richard C., et al. (1987) “Appropriating the Returns From Industrial Research and Development,” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 3: 783–831.Google Scholar
  23. Mansfield, Edwin, Mark Schwartz and Samuel Wagner (1981) “Imitation Costs and Patents: An Empirical Study,” The Economic Journal Vol. 91 (December): 907–18.Google Scholar
  24. Miller, Arthur R. and Michael H. Davis (199) Intellectual Property; Patents, Trademarks, and Copyright in A Nutshell (St. Paul: West Publishing Co.).Google Scholar
  25. Moser, Martin (1985) “Measuring Performance in R&D Settings,” Research Management Vol. 28, #5, (Sept.-Oct.): 31–33.Google Scholar
  26. Napolitano, Giovanni and Giorgio Sirilli (1990) “The patent system and the exploitation of inventions: results of a statistical survey conducted in Italy,” Technovation 10, 1: 5–16.Google Scholar
  27. Narin, F. and D. Olivastro (1988) “Technology Indicators Based On Patents and Patent Citations,” in A.F.J. van Raan, ed. Handbook of Quantitative Studies of Science and Technology ( NY: Elsevier Science Publishers ).Google Scholar
  28. Narin, Francis and Elliot Noma (1987) “Patents as indicators of corporate technological strength,” Research Policy 16: 143–155.Google Scholar
  29. Packer, Michael B. (1983) “Analyzing Productivity in R&D Organizations,” Research Management (26, #1, Jan.-Feb.): 13–20.Google Scholar
  30. Papadakis, Maria (1992) “Federal Laboratory Missions, ‘Products,’ and Competitiveness,” unpublished manuscript, Syracuse University.Google Scholar
  31. Pappas, Richard A. and Donald S. Remer (1985) “Measuring R&D Productivity,” Research Management Vol 28, #3 (May-June): 15–22.Google Scholar
  32. Patterson, William C. (1983) “Evaluating R&D Performance at Alcoa Laboratories,” Research Management (26, #2, March-April): 23–27.Google Scholar
  33. Pavitt, Keith (1982) “R&D, patenting, and innovative activities -statistical exploration,” Research Policy 11: 33–51.Google Scholar
  34. Pavitt, Keith (1988) “Uses and Abuses of Patent Statistics,” in A.J.F. Van Raan, Handbook of Quantitative Studies of Science and Technology ( NY: Elsevier Science Publishers).Google Scholar
  35. Pavitt, Keith (1985) “Patent Statistics as Indicators of Innovative Activities: Possibilities and Problems,” Scientometrics 7: 77–99.Google Scholar
  36. Trajtenberg, Manuel (1987) “Patents, Citations, and Innovations: Tracing the links,” National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 2457.Google Scholar
  37. Schainblatt, Alfred H. (1982) “How Companies Measure the Productivity of Engineers and Scientists,” Research Management 25: 10–18.Google Scholar
  38. Scherer, F.M. (1986) Innovation and Growth. ( Cambridge: The MIT Press).Google Scholar
  39. Teece, J. David (1986) Profiting from Technological Innovation: Implications for Integration, Collaboration, Licensing, and Public Policy, “ Research Policy 15: 285–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Papadakis
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Technology and Information Policy The Maxwell SchoolSyracuse UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations