Inter-firm technology transfer: Partnership-embedded licensing or standard licensing agreements?

John Hagedoorn, Stefanie Lorenz-Orlean & Hans van Kranenburg


When companies decide to engage in technology transfer through licensing to other firms, they have two basic options: to use standard licensing contracts or to set-up more elaborate partnership-embedded licensing agreements. We find that broader partnership-embedded licensing agreements are preferred with higher levels of technological sophistication of industries, with greater perceived effectiveness of secrecy as a means of appropriability, and when licensors are smaller than their licensees. Innovative differentials between companies, innovative supremacy of the licensor, and market and technological overlap between partners appear to have no effect on the preference for a particular form of licensing.

Running headline: INTER-FIRM TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER Keywords: technology transfer, licensing, inter-firm partnership, innovation

UNU-MERIT Working Papers ISSN 1871-9872

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