How to create commercial value from patents: The role of patent management

Holger Ernst*, James G. Conley, Nils Omland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the relationship between patent management and multiple indicators of firm performance. The empirical analyses are based on a sample of 143 technology-based firms from the USA and Germany across multiple industries. The results show that two important dimensions of patent management, specifically patent protection management and patent information management, are positively correlated with a firm's licensing revenues, sales growth and profitability. This implies that not the number of patents a firm owns, but the firm's management of its patents determines the level of value creation from patents. We further find that a firm's technology strategy moderates the relationship between patent protection management and firm performance; it does, however, not moderate the relationship between patent information management and firm performance. Our findings have significant implications for improving firm performance by means of patent management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalResearch Policy
StateAccepted/In press - May 21 2012


  • Management
  • Patents
  • Performance
  • R&D
  • Strategy
  • Value

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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