Dr. Jan Buzydlowski, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Don Goeltz, Associate Professor in the School of Business Administration recently published a study titled “Calculating The Euclidean Technology Distance of Dyads Using Patent Citations” in the Journal of International and Interdisciplinary Research.
The paper introduces a new method of calculating a measure of a technology base of a firm using the patent citations made in patent applications. The technology base is a key step in studies of technology strategies of a single entity and in making comparisons between the technology strategies of firms.
Each patent application lists the patented technologies that are being cited, much like citations in an academic paper. The use of various distance calculations using patents and the use of patent citations to evaluate technology direction are accepted concepts in the literature. This paper combines and advances these ideas by using patent citations in the distance calculation. By examining patent citations, Goeltz and Buzydlowski calculate technology distance of a dyad at a broader and deeper level than would be available by looking only at the patents themselves.
Applications of the approach include assessing the technology strategies of competing companies, evaluating the technology direction of industry groups, and defining the optimal portfolio of alliances and joint ventures.
“The process to publish the paper started in the fall of 2012,” Goeltz said. “I asked Jan if he could compute the technology base using patents and a few weeks later, I had something that I had spent three years pursuing. I upped the ante by suggesting the application of the techniques to real-world patent data and a methodology appeared. When the smoke cleared, two papers emerged: a conference proceeding publication and a full-length journal paper. The latter's publication process was lengthy, over two years, with reviews and responses and delays from a new editor of the journal.”