New article by Addis Birhanu in Strategic Management Journal.

This article examines the relationship between family ownership and patent use strategy using primary data from a patent survey, as well as patent and firm-level data from secondary sources. The findings reveal that family firms are less likely than non-family firms to license their patents and more likely to internally commercialize them. We show that the decision of family firms to license less does not depend on lower patent quality or inefficient patent use. Instead, it arises from their preference for patent uses that allow them to exert greater control over the value they can derive from their innovations. We also show that family firms commercialize more patents because they leverage their managerial discretion to explore and seize emerging internal patent commercialization opportunities.


Addis Birhanu & Alfonso Gambardella (2023). To commercialize inside or outside of the firm: Behavioral considerations in patent exploitation by family firms. Strategic Management Journal.