Patents as options: Path-dependency and patent value

Timothy Richards, Bradley J. Rickard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Despite the growing importance of licence revenue to cash-strapped universities and research institutions, there has been no formal attempt to develop pricing models for patent licences.We recognise that patents are options on the stream of future revenues, and apply option-valuation techniques to determine licence prices.Wefind that accounting for path-dependency in licence revenue streams generates prices that more nearly approximate observed patent prices. While non-path-dependent prices yield conventional sensitivities to volatility, mean-reversion and returns-growth, path-dependent prices show highly non-linear comparative statics. These results are important both for patent licensees and for licensors seeking to maximise licence revenue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)817-841
Number of pages25
JournalEuropean Review of Agricultural Economics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Bayh-Dole act
  • Innovation
  • Licences
  • Option valuation
  • Patents
  • Path-dependency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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