To explore the rules of knowledge transfer and application activities in knowledge space, defined at both temporal and spatial scales, the present study employs a unique dataset of Chinese patent licensing during the period of 2000–2012, with a total of 91,551 patents. Our results indicate that 70 % of patents were licensed out in the first 3 years. As time elapses, the annual average technology age decreases. There is a moderate difference among different types of licensors and patent types but not technology domains. With regards to the spatial dimension, 86 % of patents were licensed out within 1,000 km. The annual average geographical distance exhibits the same trend as technology age. Except for technology domains, a moderate difference among licensors and patent types is observed. Moreover, the interaction between geographical distance and technology age shows that as the technology age increases, this technology appears to be transferred and applied over greater distances.
Knowledge space Technology transfer Patent Technology age Geographical distance
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This research is funded by national Science Foundation of China (grant no.71302133, 71272171, 71172111), Youth Project of Ministry of education, Humanities and Social Sciences Planning Funding (grant no. 13YJC790154), and funding of Sichuan University (skyb201302).
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