We study the role of the relationship among inventors and intermediaries in the licensing of university inventions. We suggest that a prior inventor-intermediaries relationship positively influences licensing rates through selective retention of higher quality relationships and mutual learning in the relationship, enabling intermediaries to reduce both information asymmetry and search costs between inventors and potential licensees. We argue that the influence of a prior inventor-intermediaries relationship on licensing is especially important before intellectual property protection is attained and can be substituted by the buyer-side contacts of inventors and intermediaries. We test these predictions using 919 inventions from the technology transfer office at Stanford University. This study has implications for the policies and design of university technology licensing organizations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Management of Technology and Innovation