|SUZUKI Jun (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)
|January 2011 11-J-002
|The Structural Characteristics of Research and Development by Japanese Companies, and Issues for the Future
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The R&D lag consists of several different types of time periods, and each of these could have different characteristics and distribution. Based on RIETI Inventor Survey data, we have analyzed on a continuous stretch of time the terms in the R&D process, i.e., from the beginning of the R&D project to the stage of patent application , as well as from the stage of patent application to the beginning of commercial use of the patented technology. The data show that each of the time periods has very skewed distribution in the length, and the sum of the time periods yields 33 months for the median value. Our results show that the factors related to the decision on the commercial use of the patent are largely independent with respect to the factors related to the duration of the lead time to the beginning of the use. The decision on the commercial use is mostly related to the technological importance (advancement) of the patent. On the other hand, the lead time to the stage of commercial use is closely related to the size of the R&D project and the strategy of the firm. We have not found tangible evidence that supports the view that there has been a general trend of either less time required to complete an R&D project or that R&D projects are being completed more quickly. Meanwhile, our results suggest that the change in the patent system in 1997 caused a shortening in the lead time to the commercial use of the patent in Japan.