Chinese University Patents: Quantity and Quality, 1985–2010



Chinese university patenting has gained importance in recent decades. We analyse the quantity and quality of patents filed by Chinese universities. Our study is based on a comprehensive dataset of 158 universities from 1985 to 2010, comprising approximately 150,000 patent families. Descriptive statistics show that university patents witnessed an explosive growth in terms of quantity, although their quality did not rise to a similar degree. A regression analysis of patent applications (patent quantity) and forward citations (patent quality) reaffirms these results. Further, we identify R&D expenditures, R&D personnel, gross regional product per capita, and two state-funded subsidy programs as significant determinants of Chinese university patenting.