Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 78 ›› Issue (8): 2058-2073.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202308013

• Population and Urban Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial and temporal evolutionary patterns and influencing factors of patent agency service networks in China

WANG Junsong1,2(), LIU Zhiqing2   

  1. 1. Institute for Global Innovation & Development, East China Normal University Shanghai 200062, China
    2. School of Urban and Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
  • Received:2022-06-23 Revised:2023-03-13 Online:2023-08-25 Published:2023-08-15
  • Supported by:
    Major Program of National Social Science Foundation(21ZDA011)


Patent agency service is an important support to promote the creation, application and protection of intellectual property in the context of high-quality development. In this study, the network characteristics and influence mechanism of patent agency services were explored using the social network analysis method, spatial analysis method and econometric model. The patent service network in China shows a trend of expansion in scale and complexity in structure. From a single core in Beijing, the innovation service network gradually transforms into a multi-core topology. The innovation service network space has changed from the single two-tier pattern of "Beijing-Guangzhou" and "Beijing-Shanghai" to the complex structure of "Beijing as the core, with the coexistence of multi-nodes". The diffusion of innovative service flows is reflected in the form of hierarchical and contagious diffusion. The market-oriented changes in the patent management system and the spatial expansion of the demand for patent services have jointly shaped the pattern and evolution of the patent service network. The econometrical results show that the administrative hierarchy level, economic and population size, innovation capacity, and multidimensional proximity of the service city and the served city can significantly enhance the innovation service linkage between cities. This study, for the first time, explores the characteristics and evolutionary mechanisms of urban networks from the perspective of IP services. It emphasizes that administrative hierarchy, market size, and relational proximity jointly contribute to the system and evolution of urban networks, and enriches the study of innovation geography from the perspective of service linkages.

Key words: patent agency, innovation service industry, network, spatio-temporal pattern, APS, China