Ownership Structure and Productivity of Vertical Research Collaboration

Author Name NAGAOKA Sadao  (Research Counselor, Faculty Fellow, RIETI / Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University)
Creation Date/NO. December 2010 10-E-064
Research Project The Structural Characteristics of Research and Development by Japanese Companies, and Issues for the Future
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This paper analyzes empirically how significantly the existence of non-contractible research effort by a vertical partner (as measured by a provision of a co-inventor) affects the ownership structure of vertical collaborative research and whether such effort also significantly enhances research productivity, exploiting rich information at the project level provided by a large scale inventor survey in Japan. Participation of a supplier co-inventor significantly enhances research productivity and is also a very significant determinant of the ownership structure, controlling for the initial knowledge contribution and the financial contribution by a supplier. On the other hand, while a user co-inventor affects the ownership structure even more predominantly, it contributes much less to the productivity of joint research. Such a gap may be partly explained by the necessity of a user to combine relevant patents. Finally, the willingness to license is not lower for a vertically co-owned patent, even if co-ownership partly substitutes a license. This suggests that co-ownership does not significantly constrain licensing, even if ex-post agreement for a license becomes necessary.