Patent or Research Paper: Which is more valuable?

A Patent is usually more valuable than a Research Paper from a corporate point of view. That being said, a Research Paper in a renowned publication like NIPS and NATURE can be equally valuable.

To understand which is valuable consider this:

Attribute Patent Research Paper
Approved by Government (like USA, India) Private Publishing Company
Usage Expected Commercial use No expected use
Time to publish 1.5 to 3 years 1 month to 1 year
Are you paid? Yes No
Title Inventor Researcher

Patents are usually more valuable because:

  • Patents are approved and published by Government Organizations like USPTO. This is considered to be more reliable than a private publishing company which publish Research papers.
  • Patent means you have found a novel idea that can be used in a commercial product. In case of research paper, there is no such guarantee.
  • Companies favor Patents while Universities prefer Research Papers.
  • By publishing patents, you can earn in multiple ways but in case of Research Paper, there is no direct way to earn.

You can go for Research Paper if:

  • You want to get your work published quickly within a few months.
  • Your work does not have an innovative idea which can be used in commercial product and result in profit.
  • You focus on getting a teaching position in an University or applying to pursue a degree.

Corporate View

Many companies do not allow their employees to publish research papers. This is to prevent accidental release of confidential information that can be used by a Competitor.

Checking for confidential information is difficult as:

  • One need to avoid using measurements as it can include other optimizations.

This makes publishing safe research papers difficult. This is why research papers are not published by several companies.

These companies publish patents.

Patents allow them to protect their invention and the content is very focused as only the idea is presented and other information which may include critical information is not included.

Moreover, patents are valuable to the company. Each patent increases the value of the company and if it is useful, other companies need to pay royalties to use the invention.

From this view, Patents are significantly important to a Company.

Monetary value

A useful patent can make a company earn a significant amount of money by using the invention in a commercial product or if another company uses it.

An individual inventor with a patent can earn some money on each patent irrespective of the usefulness. The ways to earn from a patent are:

  1. Join a Company and File Patents
  2. File Patents as a University Student
  3. File Patent independently and sell license

Usual earnings on a patent by an employee in a Company:

  • On Filing a Patent: $1500
  • When Patent is published: $1500
  • If Patent finds significant use: $10,000
  • If Patent becomes a game changer: $25,000

To understand these better and calculate how much can you earn, go through the calculations in this article.

To publishing a research paper, you will not earn directly. It can result in indirect ways like promotions but it depends on other factors as well.


Therefore, as a conclusion, in real world, Patent is significantly more important than a Research Paper. If you are a researcher at a University or have some content to publish which cannot to included in a patent, then it is best to go for a Research papers.

Moreover, in an University, to get promoted to a Professor role, there are mandatory rules to have a certain number of patents issued in name of the Professor. Therefore, to reach the peak of your career in both Corporate and University, you need to have Patents.

With this article at OpenGenus, you must have a good idea of how Patents and Research Papers compare to each other.