Innovation, Governance and the Institutional Environment
Edited by Birgitte Andersen
Chapter 6: Knowledge Spillovers from the Patenting Process
Jesper Lindgaard Christensen ABSTRACT This chapter highlights and investigates potential knowledge spillovers from a patent ofﬁce. It furthermore discusses if such spillovers are localized within the nation. It researches if the interaction between the applicant ﬁrms and the patent ofﬁce, in this case the Danish Patent and Trademark Ofﬁce (DKPTO), adds to the general competence of both parties. In turn, this may have positive long-term effects on the ability of the ﬁrms to innovate and use the intellectual property rights (IPR) system. Patent ofﬁces are often regarded as performing relatively standardized processing of applications without much interaction with other parties in the innovation system. On the contrary, the research reveals that the DKPTO not only grants patents and sells business services, but also has a complementary role as a knowledge-diffusing organization. A survey was implemented to explore this role in the innovation system further. The general impact of the DKPTO on knowledge diffusion is, according to the survey, primarily to increase the awareness of IPR among ﬁrms and to bring together the IPR branch by constituting a central focus point for common interests. Additionally, the DKPTO serves a role in facilitating easy access to the patent system for ﬁrms by lowering the cultural and linguistic barriers of IPR protection. Moreover, the DKPTO educates patent engineers who after a period in the DKPTO are employed in other organizations. The role of the DKPTO in terms of stimulating innovation directly is modest, but the above-mentioned complementary functions are...
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