Abstract: This article examines coordination between inventors and innovators through prices in a market for contracts on patented technology, in a controlled laboratory experiment. Typically, a hierarchical approach is used to analyze such coordination, new technology being exogenous, and risk managed in separate markets. Price signals and search patterns are compared for three institutional mechanisms and two levels of patent validity in a 3 x 2 experimental design. “Willingness to search” in a technology map of 9 “technology areas”, each with private and uncertain values for agents, are used to characterize and differentiate institutional behavior with respect to investment decisions in new technology. The results indicate that coordination and that the willingness to search out the most valuable technology differs sharply between the mechanisms; low patent validity also results in poor coordination. Policy implications suggest facilitating a market in tradable contracts on patents is needed. This may entail lowering risk in using patent “assets” (access to quality patents and enforcements for SMEs) and new forms of legal associations for IP intensive firms.