Federico Caviggioli (Polytechnic University of Turin)
11 April 2023 @ 12:30 - 13:30
Profiling independent inventors in Italy
Abstract. Although the total number of innovations developed by independent inventors is currently smaller than the output of organizations’ R&D departments, the literature indicates that they are relevant contributors to technological advancements. Empirical studies investigating the individuals who retain the IPRs of the patented inventions are relatively few. In this work I analyze 28k Italian inventors who filed at least one patent in the years 1994-2017 at the Italian Patent Office (UIBM) as independent, i.e., they are also applicant/assignee. In these cases, UIBM reports the national tax ID which identifies gender and birth date. I have reconstructed the full patent portfolio of each inventor using their names and filtered the sample with criteria that reduce the presence of false positive or negative matches. The analyses confirm the presence of a female underrepresentation (although declining), and gender differences in mean age and age distribution at the patenting debut. Age at first patent is increasing, in particular for women in the age group 45-64. The dynamic process of being an independent or organizational inventor is then considered. The group of always independent inventors is characterized by a higher presence of women, one-shot inventors, older mean debut age than dependent ones. The survival analysis on the time to become dependent suggests the presence on average of an advantage for men, corresponding for a woman to a debut age before 35 years or a portfolio of circa 13 patents, an extremely rare case.