Preprints of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2009,26
We describe the transfer of patents in late 19th- and early 20th- century Germany using a new and comprehensive database containing information on about 20,000 transactions. The number of transactions shows an upward trend, in total numbers and as a share of patents in force. In total, about eight percent of patents were transferred at least once during their existence. Many transactions involved the transfer of patents with an above-average quality from individual inventors to firms and to newly-created - entrepreneurial - firms. In addition, valuable patents were transferred between firms. About two-thirds of all transfers occurred during the first three years of a patents' existence, giving the new owner potentially a long period of patent protection.
Economic History Germany pre-1913 Patents Technology transfer