New Data on the Use of Patents by Universities, Small Firms and Individual Inventors
The general difﬁculties inherent in using patent counts to explore a country’s technological performance were discussed at the beginning of the book. The database prepared for this study avoids a number of these inherent problems through careful ﬁltering of the data. In the ﬁrst instance, the database contains only Utility patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Ofﬁce (USPTO), the world’s largest and most active patent granting organisation. Further, it was based only on the Small Entity data supplied by that ofﬁce (records of patent applicants who had claimed related patent fee remissions) for the period 1994 to 2003. This basic dataset was further reﬁned by adding data concerning the payment of patent maintenance fees, assignee types, patent citations and Technology Class codes. The study is mainly focused on the OECD countries with the addition of Israel, together designated the ‘OECD*’ countries. Small Entity patent applications to the USPTO from countries outside this group of countries have been extremely low, with the major exception of Taiwan. For the purpose of useful comparison, the OECD* countries were arranged in three groups according to GDP, population and general economic standing. The non-OECD* countries were arranged in two further groups: Group D which is largely to do with Taiwan, and Group E. At all times it must be borne in mind that the ﬁrst ﬁltering criterion – application to a patent ofﬁce outside the inventor’s jurisdiction – does not apply to the United States itself and also...
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