Determinants of quadic patenting: Market access, imitative threat, competition and strength of intellectual property rights

Can Huang & Jojo Jacob


This paper analyses firms' decisions to seek intellectual property rights in global markets, particularly in China. We advance the notion of quadic patent family, defined as a patent family that consists of patent applications at the European Patent Office, the Japanese Patent Office, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and the national patent office of a fourth country. We examine the determinants of quadic patenting at the industry level for China, and at the country level for a sample of 38 countries. Our results indicate that quadic patent applications are driven by the need for accessing markets, and for meeting the challenges of imitative threat and product market competition.

Key Words: Quadic patent family, triadic patent family, patent, innovation, imitative threat, Intellectual Property Right, China

JEL Classification: O31, O34

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