Exploring the effect of dual use on the value of military technology patents based on the renewal decision

Bo Kyeong Lee, So Young Sohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Concerns regarding the high level of research and development (R&D) expenditure on military technology have prompted many nations to pursue a dual-use regime in military R&D. However, the value of dual-use military technology has not yet been quantitatively investigated. We explore whether military technology with a higher level of duality has been more valuable than that with a lower level of duality. We assume that the patent of valuable military technology was renewed until its termination. We retrieve military patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office during 1976–2014 based on their International Patent Classification (IPC) as F41 or F42. Then, we propose three indicators to assess the duality level of them. The first indicator is based on the determination of whether the patented technology is utilizable in both the military and the civilian sectors using its IPC. For the second indicator, we estimate the potential of convergence of a patented technology with various technological fields using the degree of centrality of the IPC’s co-occurrence network. The third indicator is based on ratio of forward citation by the civilian sector over the total number of forward citations as a measurement of technology diffusion toward the civilian sector. Using logistic regression, we found that the first two indicators are positively associated with patent renewal decision, while the last indicator is nonsignificant. The effects of the two significant indicators suggests that military technologies are more valuable when the technology itself can be used in various sectors, including the civilian sector, and can be converged with technologies in different fields. However, the nonsignificant influence of the third variable suggests that the relation between patent value and diffusion effects toward following inventions is not confined to the civilian sector. Our findings provide evidence of the impact of dual-use policies in military R&D.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1203-1227
Number of pages25
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sept 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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