A baseline for the impact of academic patenting legislation in NorwayNov 2 2011
As the commercialization of academic research has risen as a target area in many countries, the need for better empirical data collection to evaluate policy changes on this front has increasingly been recognized. This need is exemplified in the Norwegian case where legislative changes went into effect in 2003 expressly to encourage greater commercialization through patenting research results. This policy ambition faces the problem that no record of the patenting activity of academic researchers is available before 2003 when the country’s “professor’s privilege” was phased out. This article addresses the fundamental difficulty of how to empirically test the effect of such policy aims. It develops a methodology which can be used to reliably baseline changes in the extent and focus of academic patents. The purpose is to describe the empirical approach and results, while also providing insight into the changes in Norwegian policy on this front and their context.