Firm Size and Characteristics of Innovations in the Markets for Technology
Leung, Jeffery Pui Hin
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This paper investigates how the size of a firm affects its licensing strategy for patented technologies through empirical analysis of the characteristics at the technological, firm, and industry levels. Only firms with commercialization capabilities are considered in this study in order to compare the incentives of utilizing technologies internally with the incentives of selling them for licensing revenue. Focusing on licensing motivated by non-strategic purposes, empirical analysis shows that large companies are less willing to license patents that fit into their business focus, as well as those which have a low technological value in general. On the other hand, small firms are more inclined to license patents which are more relevant to their business focus, but less innovative on average. This study also finds that market share and competition intensity are important factors in their licensing decisions: the more competitive and the smaller the market share of the patents owned by large firms, the higher the chance that firms will list them on the market. In line with the revenue versus competition framework by Arora and Fosfuri (2003), this paper concludes that large firms are generally more concerned about the rent dissipation effect over the revenue effect from licensing, while the opposite is true for smaller firms.