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Annals of Business Administrative Science
Vol. 15 (2016) No. 4 p. 187-197



This paper employs data on patent applications for the glass industry’s float process from 1954 through 2015. Furthermore, it assesses whether the S-curve of technological progress emerges. Assigning time to the horizontal axis, something like the S-curve emerges in the US and Europe but not in Japan. The S-curve represents the physical limits of technology. Specifically, Foster (1986) defined the S-curve as the function that expresses the relation between the amount of effort expended toward performance improvement and its outcome. The magnitude of the effort expended depends on the company as well as social factors. This paper performs company-level analysis using actual data to examine (1) the extent to which companies respond to the demands of the market and (2) the effect of the grant-back clauses in licensing agreements suggested by Ogami (2015).

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