Open Access Review SciPap-1341
Disadvantages of Patent Performance Indicators in Performance-Based Research Funding Systems
by Ivan Vershinin 1,* iD icon

1 Center for Operational Monitoring and Evaluation of the Development of Science and Innovation, The Russian Research Institute of Economics, Politics and Law in Science and Technology (RIEPL), 20A, Dobrolubova St., Moscow, Russia, Moscow 127254, Russian Federation

* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Abstract: Although the use of patent indicators in statistics has been under discussion for a long time, there are surprisingly very few studies devoted to explaining the use of patent indicators as performance indicators in performance-based research funding systems. The widespread assumption is based on the perception that patents have some recognizable value as an element of innovation process and this value is undoubtedly transferred to patents that are created in order to fulfill performance indicators. However, there is still no established distinction in the literature between patent indicators used in statistical analysis and patent performance indicators used as goal setting and evaluation tools in the context of performance-based research funding systems. This article is aimed at filling the gap and seeks to clarify the theoretical validity of the use of patent performance indicators in such context. Based on the review of the literature, the article compares the results of seminal works on the nature of patenting and patent indicators to the purposes of its use as patent performance indicators in performance-based research funding systems. The results demonstrate at least five arguments in favor of the statement that the use of patent indicators in the context of performance-based research funding systems requires rethinking.

Keywords: Research Policy, Performance-Based Research Funding Systems, Public Research Organizations, Performance Indicators, Patent Indicators, Side Effects, Moral Hazard

JEL classification:   I23 - Higher Education • Research Institutions,   I28 - Government Policy,   O31 - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives,   O34 - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital,   O38 - Government Policy

SciPap 2021, 29(2), 1341;

Received: 20 July 2021 / Revised: 1 September 2021 / Accepted: 10 September 2021 / Published: 13 September 2021