Faculty patent assignment in the Chinese mainland: evidence from the top 35 patent application universities

Sik Wah Fong, Xuhua Chang, Qiang Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Recent research has explored the issue of university faculty patent assignment in the US, Europe and Japan from the individual or organization perspectives. However, there is limited empirical research that examines the real picture of faculty patent assignment in China’s universities. This paper aimed to fill this gap by creating a special dataset including 18,435 faculty/patent pairs. The investigation indicated that 13.16 % of pairs were not solely assigned to universities in 35 top patent application Chinese universities from 2002 to 2012. The empirical study correlates types of patent assignment to invention characteristics, university intellectual eminence and licensing policies, and illustrates that patent assignment changes depending on the research field, that university assignment is positively related to patent claims but negatively related to patent validity, patent maintenance time, and number of co-inventors, and that university intellectual eminence has a weak impact. Through controlling the influence of inventor characteristics, university royalty and equality policies play different roles in faculty patent assignment. This paper provides new insights as well as operational policy implications for China’s university policy makers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-95
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Technology Transfer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Chinese Mainland
  • Invention disclosure
  • Patent assignment
  • University-industry technology transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Accounting
  • Engineering(all)


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