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Eller College Home > McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship > CRIE > Patent Data > Fulfilling Zvi's Vision
Commercialization Research on Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Fulfilling Zvi's Vision

The late Zvi Griliches1 had a vision to make patent data publicly available for academic researchers to utilize. Griliches and his colleagues have made attempts2 to provide patent data in a useful form3. These early data options have in some cases been pioneering and important. However, academics and practitioners are looking for much more from patent data than what these current "one-off" datasets can offer; i.e., they are neither comprehensive nor contiguous. Tens of thousands of articles in the social and economic sciences have utilized this limiting patent data to study innovation. The quality of the research is limited by the quality of the data: we need data that is comprehensive, contiguous, clean, and relational.

1. Griliches, Zvi. 1990. Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey. Journal of Economic Literature 28(4) pp. 1661—1707.

2. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) datasets from 1999 and 2006 (, are the most prevalent. This data is neither contiguous nor comprehensive.

3. Hall, Bronwyn H., Adam B. Jaffe, Manuel Trajtenberg. 2001. The NBER Patent Citation Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools. Working paper # 8498, National Bureau of Economic Research.

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