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Sleeping Beauties in Nanotechnology.

Conference contribution
Authors Elena M. Tur
Evangelos Bourelos
Maureen McKelvey
Published in Geoinnov2018, The 4th Geography of Innovation Conference, Jan 31- Feb 2, 2018, Barcelona
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Economy and Society, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE)
Language en
Subject categories Economics and Business


In this paper we explore the patterns of patent citations in nanotechnology. We apply the concept of sleeping beauty in order to identify patents which have been “sleeping” for some time but made a great technological impact in terms of citations when they “woke up”. In order to do that we categorize the patents into three different groups: the sleepers, the beauties and, by combining these two, the sleeping beauties. We present statistics and econometric models which show their distribution in nanotechnology as well as an exploration of the factors affecting the probability of a patent to fall in each category. Nanotechnology is an interdisciplinary field of particular interest and possible implications to the citations patterns and to the sleeping beauty phenomenon. We test two hypotheses in order to test which factors affect the probability of being a sleeping beauty. The first hypothesis is related to patent ownership and the second related to basic and applied nature of patents. Preliminary results show that sleeping beauties are particularly relevant to the nanotechnology field. It is also scattered within few specific IPC subclasses. When it comes to the factors of leading to a sleeping beauty patent the question remains a mystery since the models show a different pattern than the other two categories.

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