New Publication on Measuring generative appropriability: Experiments with US semiconductor patents

Nils Denter and Mei Yun Lai published a new paper in the World Patent Information journal titled “Measuring generative appropriability: Experiments with US semiconductor patents”.


  • Generative appropriability (GA) is operationalized by means of knowledge flow.
  • Textual patent data is employed to measure knowledge flow between patents.
  • Two validations raise concerns about conventional knowledge flow approaches.
  • GA is revealed for leading semiconductor firms and shows distinct patterns.

This study presents a novel approach to quantify Generative Appropriability (GA) – a firm's capability to exploit current inventions to generate follow-on inventions (cumulative GA) and preclude rivals from them (preclusive GA). Unlike prior research, our approach relies not only on patent citations but also on texts. In the first step, we preprocess the texts of the focal patents and their citations. In the second step, we measure knowledge flow by similarity measurements. In the third step, we calculate cumulative and preclusive GA by means of constructed formulae. To test our approach, we select particularly active firms in patenting US semiconductor inventions. First, results from knowledge flow confirm our initial concerns on measuring knowledge flow by means of patent citation count. Second, results from GA show different patterns among the semiconductor firms and firms which are well-positioned in both perspectives and firms which lack cumulative GA but show good values in preclusive GA.

Denter, Nils M.; Lai, Mei Yun (2022): Measuring generative appropriability: Experiments with US semiconductor patents. In World Patent Information 70. DOI: 10.1016/j.wpi.2022.102130

Free access until October 07, 2022:

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