Transnational Intellectual Property Strategies and Firms’ Knowledge Adoption: Evidence from China-U.S. Patent Dyads

Publication Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



As firms increasingly conduct R&D in emerging markets, ‘transnational patenting’– patenting of the same invention across more than one country– is becoming a cornerstone of their intellectual property (IP) strategies. We investigate how patenting of a firm’s invention in an emerging economy (China) can shape its subsequent technological knowledge adoption by other firms in a developed economy (U.S.). Using 4,226 China-U.S. patent dyads covering 1,104 firms, our difference-in-differences estimates show that patent grant under a weak IP institution (China) increases the technology’s knowledge adoption under a strong IP institution (U.S.). Such signaling effect to mitigate information asymmetry is most salient for patents awarded to China-based firms, in computing and information sector, and to technologies developed in Chinese provinces with lower de facto IP institutional quality.


Innovation, transnational patenting, technological knowledge, emerging market, China


Technology and Innovation

Research Areas

Strategy and Organisation

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