Handbook on the Theory and Practice of Program Evaluation

Handbook on the Theory and Practice of Program Evaluation

Elgar original reference

Edited by Albert N. Link and Nicholas S. Vonortas

As this volume demonstrates, a wide variety of methodologies exist to evaluate particularly the objectives and outcomes of research and development programs. These include surveys, statistical and econometric estimations, patent analyses, bibliometrics, scientometrics, network analyses, case studies, and historical tracings. Contributors divide these and other methods and applications into four categories – economic, non-economic, hybrid and data-driven – in order to discuss the many factors that affect the utility of each technique and how that impacts the technological, economic and societal forecasts of the programs in question.

Chapter 12: Patent analysis

Rosalie Ruegg and Patrick Thomas

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, public sector economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation

Extract

The purpose of this chapter is to explain how patent analysis is used for program evaluation, what research questions it can help to answer, how it is performed, and what are its limitations. Examples drawn from an evaluation study using patent analysis illustrate the approach. The analysis of patents is primarily applicable to evaluation of applied research programs and innovation because patents are knowledge outputs and indicators of invention. Patents disclose to society how an invention is practiced in exchange for the temporary right to exclude others from using the patented invention without the patent assignee’s permission. Each patent reveals a list of references to informational sources, including publications and other patents, that predate it and that are relevant to the patent’s claim of originality—that is they form the “prior art” of the new invention. The revelation of prior art enables an evaluator to identify what previous work has influenced a new invention, and allows the tracing of knowledge dissemination through patent citation analysis.

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