Estimation of the true number of inventors at a company

Tyumen State University Herald. Social, Economic, and Law Research


Vesntik TSU. Economy (#11). 2014

Estimation of the true number of inventors at a company

About the authors:

Sergey V. Lyubimov,
Dr. Econ. Sci., Professor, Head of Economics and Property Evaluation Department, Institute for Economics, Management and Law (Surgut branch), Tyumen State University

Oleg A. Tarasov,
Cand. Phys. and Math. Sci., Assistant Professor, Department for Mathematical Methods, Information Technologies and Management Systems in Economics, Institute for Finance and Economics, Tyumen State University


The present article proposes a method to estimate the true number of inventors at a company. The procedure is based on two assumptions: each patent is invented by one author only; the author with the biggest number of patents is not the true inventor of this patent. The compliance matrix of patents and the co-authors of the company is built, thus if author j is the author (a co-author) of invention i, the matrix element is set to 1. Otherwise, it is assigned the value 0. The authors with the biggest number of patents are declared not true inventors if they are not the only authors of these patents. If they are the only authors, they are the true inventors. Following this, those elements of the matrix should be redefined which correspond to untrue inventors equal to 0. The next author with the maximum number of patents is found and these steps are repeated until each patent is given one author only, i.e. the true inventor of this patent. It is shown that if there are N authors (co-authors) of M patents in a company, then the number of its true inventors is not equal to N and is limited to the range [1; M]. In the article we have drawn an example of the application of the given method and have given the summary of the results for 12 Tyumen companies. 


1. Gattari, P.G.. Determining Inventorship for US Patent Applications. Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal. 2005. Vol. 17. № 5. P. 16-19.

2. Mandel, G.N. Left-Brain versus Right-Brain: Competing Conceptions of Creativity in Intellectual Property Law / University of California, Davis School of Law. Vol. 44. № 1.2010.

3. Seymore, S.B. My Patent, Your Patent, or Our Patent? Inventorship Disputes Within Academic Research Groups. Albany Law Journal of Science & Technology. 2006. Vol. 16. P. 125-167.

4. Dreyfuss, R.C. Collaborative Research: Conflicts on Authorship, ownership, and Accountability. Vanderbilt Law Review. 2000 Vol. 53. Pp. 1162-1207.

5. Staudt, E., Bock, J., Muhlemeyer, P., Kriegesmann, B. Der Arbeitnehmererfinder im betrieblichen Innovationsprozess. Schmalenbachs Zeitschrift fur betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung. 1992. Vol. 44. № 2. P. 111-130.

6. Schmeisser, w. Systematische Erfindungsforderung als Unternehmensaufgabe: Wege zur Steigerung der Kreativitat und zu erfolgreichen Innovationen Angewandte Innovations- forschung. Vol. 7. Berlin: "Erich Schmidt", 1986. 273 p.

7. Brockhoff, K. Ist die kollektive Regelung einer Vergutung von Arbeitnehmererfindun- gen wirksam und notig? Journal of business economics. 1997. Vol. 67. № 7. P. 677- 687.

8. Tarasov, O.A. Prognoz patentnoi aktivnosti vuza: Monografiia [A forecast of patenting activity of a university: Monograph]. Tyumen, 2009. 99 p. (in Russian).

9. Tarasov, O.A. Certificate of state registration of the computer program № 2012615090 Program for estimating the number of true inventors in scientific and educational organizations. Register of computer programs. 2012. (in Russian).

10. Dezhina, I.G., Saltykov, B.G. Mekhanizmy stimulirovaniia kommertsializatsii issledovanii i razrabotok [Mechanisms to encourage the commercialization of research and development]. Moscow, 2004. 152 p. (in Russian).

11. Business Russia All Russia Public Organization. Strategy 2020: From the economy "directives" to the economy of "incentives" annual economic report. Moscow, 2008.(in Russian).