New article by Filippo Carlo Wezel in Strategic Management Journal.

Whereas prior innovation and strategy literature studied how attentional and search dynamics influence the creation of inventions, we examine how these same processes affect the impact of inventions after their creation. We theorize that inventions classified in “high‐contrast” technological categories garner more attention by potential users and, hence, accrue more citations than otherwise‐equivalent inventions classified in “low‐contrast” categories. We test this hypothesis via three studies. First, we estimate citation‐count models among all USPTO patents granted between 1975 and 2010. Second, we conduct a twin patents test comparing inventions patented both at the USPTO and at the EPO. Third, we examine minute‐by‐minute search logs from a sample of USPTO examiners. These studies support our hypothesis and extend current understandings of attentional and search dynamics in the innovation process.


Balázs Kovács, Gianluca Carnabuci, and Filippo Carlo Wezel. 2021.Categories, attention, and the impact of inventions, Strategic Management Journal, 42(5): 992–1023.