Factors affecting the quality of joint patents in China

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

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Ruoying Zhou

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This thesis expects to contribute to the understanding of the factors affecting the quality of joint patents based on empirical investigations using large datasets.The first empirical study looks at the propensity of different technology level sectors to engage in joint patenting activities. Higher industrial sectors are more likely to collaborate with universities for technological innovations.The second empirical study analyses the effects of co-ownerships with cross-border partners and universities on the quality of joint patents owned by Chinese firms. While cross-border co-ownership on its own is a strong predictor of joint patent quality, the positive effect of university co-ownership on quality is clearly observed when cross-border co-ownership is added. The evidence on the effect of organisational proximity (joint patents between subsidiaries of an enterprise) is ambiguous.The third empirical study investigates whether the relationships observed in China are also found in international evidence by using a larger data set for 80 countries covering industrialised emerging and developing countries. Collaborations between countries with substantial income differences, for example emerging and developed countries, positively impact on joint patent quality. Collaborations between low-income countries have been unsuccessful in improving patent quality.The fourth empirical study explores the roles of cognitive proximity and organizational proximity in shaping the innovation performance of firm-university collaborations in China. Cognitive proximity has a positive impact on the quality of joint patents. However, beyond a certain level of cognitive proximity, the positive impact on value creation diminishes. Organizational proximity is insignificantly related to the value of joint patents.In summary, joint patenting performance is stronger where there is greater cognitive proximity of firms with cross-border partners and universities and firms have a sufficiently high level of technological capacity. Generally organizational proximity is less significant


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date5 Jun 2018


  • research and development, patenting, collaboration, forward citation, technology

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