Exclusive licensing of university technology: The effects of university prestige, technology transfer offices, and academy-industry collaboration

Huijun Shen, W. Coreynen, Can Huang

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Exclusivity is a key concern when designing a licensing contract, yet the organizational factors that influence the exclusive provision of university licenses remain underexplored. This study provides a deeper understanding of this question by developing a balanced framework that considers both licensors (universities) and licensees (companies) in licensing deals. Furthermore, we posit that university prestige affects both a university's ability to conduct non-exclusive licensing and a firm's incentive to obtain an exclusive license, thereby shaping their joint willingness to license (non-)exclusively. We also examine how technology transfer office (TTO) experience and prior collaboration between a university and a firm moderate this relationship. To test the hypotheses, we use a dataset consisting of 6653 licensed patents owned by 117 representative Chinese universities. We find that an inverted U-shaped relationship exists between university prestige and the likelihood that two parties choose exclusive licensing. Moreover, the moderating effect of TTO experience is partially supported while that of prior collaboration is fully supported. Our findings generate important implications for the relative social impacts of exclusive and non-exclusive licensing of technology inventions as well as the management of university licensing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104372
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalResearch Policy
Volume51
Issue number1
Early online date21 Sept 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Funding

Can Huang is grateful for the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 71874152 , 71732008 and 71572187 ), the National Office for Philosophy and Social Sciences (Grant No. 21AZD010 ) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities.

FundersFunder number
National Natural Science Foundation of China71874152, 71572187, 71732008
Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities
National Office for Philosophy and Social Sciences21AZD010

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