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Has the Promise of the Internet Been Realized? Internet Access and Collective Invention among Patent Inventors

Mon, August 13, 10:30am to 12:10pm, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Floor: Level 4, 412


Some scholars suggest collective invention is on the rise due to improved access to information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as the Internet, which provide individuals with new avenues for communication and collaboration. Organizations seem to remain the preeminent site of invention, however, due to the tremendous resources at their disposal. Given the presumption that improved access to the internet cultivates connectivity and novelty among individuals, on the one hand, and the resources, technologies, and expertise organizations leverage in knowledge creation, on the other hand, we ask whether internet access plays a role in the incidence of collective invention for independent inventors and organizational inventors in the knowledge economy. Regression models based on a sample of metropolitan areas in the United States predict that increases in household internet access increases collective invention for organizational patent inventors, but not independent patent inventors.