Mauro CAPUTO Progetti


Three research questions are made: 1) how accumulated stock of knowledge is related to current search practices; 2) how stock of knowledge is related to quality of innovation output; 3) how search practices are related to quality of innovation output. The stock of knowledge summarizes the professional background and experience accumulated by the firm and potentially available as a starting point for future R&D efforts. It is described by both technological strategies previously carried out by companies and open innovation practices previously adopted to accumulate experience. The search practices refer to the opportunities and the sources that firms directly employ in the specific R&D effort under investigation. They are defined by both the sources of information and inspiration involved in the process and the external actors directly engaged in KS. The quality of innovation output is qualified in terms of: a) marketability, as the ability of the patented invention to reach the marketand contribute to firm’s competitive advantage; b) originality of the technological combination, suggesting the focal firm’s capability to generate new architectures and recombine knowledge; c) technological acknowledgement, signaling the technical value of the patented technology; d) internal value, as a proxy of the private value attributed by the patent assignee to the invention. A patent-based framework is defined and data are extracted from PATSTAT database through a PHP based software. The analysis is confined to filings recorded in EPO, USPTO or WIPO, since the information available from national offices may lack of some data. Priority filings, potentially claimable by other patents, are investigated. Once selected a sample of companies and a year of analysis t, two kinds of patent applications for the companies are collected by investigating the assignee field: 1) patent filed in year t, used for analyzing the current search practices employed to develop them and the patent quality; 2) the patented-technologies owned by the focal firm in year t but filed before t, i.e. constituting its accumulated stock of knowledge. The information regarding knowledge which resides in previous patent applications is operationalized through Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) codes. Since knowledge evolves rapidly and companies lose most of their technical experience if they abandon a technological field for years (Ahuja and Lampert, 2001; Argote, 1999; Fleming, 2001; Hall et al., 2005; Leten et al., 2007), competencies previously accumulated, and not further employed, may result obsolete and not available in t. Therefore, an experience period (tEXPER) has to be considered, which the aforementioned studies set to 5 years. Actually, when a firm starts to explore a technological field, it is required an exploration period (tEXPLOR) to master the technology before it becomes really exploitable: Belderbos et al. (2010) set this period equal to 3 years. Therefore, in year t each CPC code disclosed within the stock of knowledge can be labelled as: exploitative, if at least a patent application reporting the same field was deposited from t – tEXPER to t – tEXPLOR. Indeed, knowledge deriving from technologies filed before t – tEXPER is considered as obsolete and excluded by the stock of knowledge, while that applied after t – tEXPLOR is still in the exploration phase in year t; explorative otherwise. Regarding the use of external sources of knowledge, the interpretation acknowledged by literature will be followed, employing citations to previous patent applications (both self- and external citations) and to non-patent literature and scientific documents. As to the actors involved in the R&D effort, both the assignees and the inventors recorded in patent documents are analyzed. The quality of the R&D effort has to be seen from different perspectives, in order to detect both the market potential and its technological features.

StrutturaDipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale/DIIN
Tipo di finanziamentoFondi dell'ateneo
FinanziatoriUniversità  degli Studi di SALERNO
Importo10.100,00 euro
Periodo29 Luglio 2016 - 20 Settembre 2018
Gruppo di RicercaCAPUTO Mauro (Coordinatore Progetto)
MICHELINO Francesca (Ricercatore)