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Are patents with multiple inventors from different countries a good indicator of international R&D collaboration? The case of ABB

Authors
Journal
Research Policy
0048-7333
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
39
Issue
10
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2010.08.002
Keywords
  • Patent Data
  • R&D Collaboration
  • Cross-Country Patents

Abstract

Abstract Based on the critical case of ABB, this paper questions the relevance of using patents with multiple inventors from different countries (“cross-country patents”) as an indicator of international R&D collaboration. The study shows that less than half of ABB's cross-country patents are the result of international R&D collaboration as described by one of the more inclusive definitions found in previous literature. Only a third of the patents are the result of joint R&D activities between different MNC subsidiaries or firms. We also discuss the implications of our study for the assignment of patents to countries based on inventor addresses.

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