Assessing the value of China's patented inventions

Kenneth Guang Lih Huang, Can Huang*, Huijun Shen, Hao Mao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


This study provides one of the first systematic and direct assessments of the value of China's inventions and examines the strategic factors influencing their value, using patents granted to firms by the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA). To do this, we first review the theoretical background of these factors and the inventor survey approach to estimating patent value. We then conduct the analysis using the large-scale, comprehensive annual Inventors Survey database (ISDB) collected by CNIPA, which consists of 12,869 firms linked to 30,693 patents granted between 2010 and 2012. We find that the median and average revenues from firms’ implementation of their patents are RMB 0.75 million and 8.04 million respectively. Furthermore, we find that patents involving higher R&D investments, invention patents, patents essential to standards and belonging to patent pools command a higher value. State-owned enterprises (SOEs) produce lower value patented inventions relative to domestic private firms and foreign firms. Larger firms and those with intellectual property departments and aggressive in patent litigation have higher value inventions. Our findings yield important theoretical, methodological and policy implications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120868
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Innovation policy
  • Intellectual property strategy
  • Patents
  • Value of patented inventions


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