We provide evidence on the value of patents to startups by leveraging the random assignment of applications to examiners with different propensities to grant patents. Using unique data on all first-time applications filed at the U.S. Patent Office since 2001, we find that startups that win the patent “lottery” by drawing lenient examiners have, on average, 55% higher employment growth and 80% higher sales growth five years later. Patent winners also pursue more, and higher quality, follow-on innovation. Winning a first patent boosts a startup’s subsequent growth and innovation by facilitating access to funding from VCs, banks, and public investors.
At ZEW (Centre for European Economic Research, Mannheim), we monitor recent trends and figures of entrepreneurship activity in Germany. A new report on the development in 2014 was released some days ago*. Overall, there is a stable decreasing trend in the number of newly founded companies since the mid 1990s which has continued. Continue reading Recent Trends in German Entrepreneurship