We show evidence of localized knowledge spillovers using a new database of US patent interferences terminated between 1998 and 2014. Interferences resulted when two or more independent parties submitted identical claims of invention nearly simultaneously. Following the idea that inventors of identical inventions share common knowledge inputs, interferences provide a new method for measuring knowledge spillovers. Interfering inventors are 1.4 to 4.0 times more likely to live in the same local area than matched control pairs of inventors. They are also more geographically concentrated than citation-linked inventors. Our results emphasize geographic distance as a barrier to tacit knowledge flows.
Ganguli, Ina, Jeffrey Lin, and Nicholas Reynolds.
"The Paper Trail of Knowledge Spillovers: Evidence from Patent Interferences."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital