Patent-based Measurements on Technological Convergence and Competitor Identification: The Case of Semiconductor Industry

Zhi-hong Song, Qi Lin, Dong-mei Lee


Technological convergence promotes the formation and development of emerging industries associated with new opportunities and growth. It will be helpful for firms to understand the emerging trends of technology convergence and establish competitive strategy by identifying competitors. While previous studies mainly measure technological convergence with co-occurrence method on the technology level, relatively few studies investigate the measurement of technological convergence with firm-level data. In addition, how to identify competitors by firms in the background of technological convergence has been neglected by the extant studies. This paper takes the granted patent data of global top 10 semiconductor companies from 1994 to 2013 as the object and measures the degree and trend of technological convergence based on technology similarity. Furthermore the Multidimensional Scaling analysis with inter-firm technological similarity matrix is adopted to identify the competitors in the semiconductor industry. The main contribution of this research is that it proposes a novel method to measure technology convergence. The method is different from pervious literature in that it measures technology convergence and knowledge relatedness from a micro-level using patent data in semiconductor industry. In addition, the patent similarity matrix can be used as an input for competitor identification with Multidimensional Scaling analysis.

Keywords: Technological convergence; Competitor Identification; Multidimensional Scaling analysis; Semiconductor industry

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