OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers

Selected studies on various food, agriculture and fisheries issues from the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate.

NB. No. 1 to No. 58 were released under the previous series title OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Working Papers.


Innovation and the Experience with Agricultural Patents Since 1990

Food for Thought

This report considers developments in agricultural patents since 1990 and their economic implications. It first provides an overview of the international framework for intellectual property protection and of the general trends in the stringency of protection in OECD countries. It then presents developments in the number of patents originating from OECD and other countries that are granted in Europe and the United States, for all fields and for agriculture and food technologies. These illustrate the leading role played by OECD countries in the provision of successful applications, although non-OECD countries increased their share of the total between 1990 and 2010. Finally, econometric analysis is used to assess the relationships between patenting and selected indicators of innovation and economic performance. The results points to favourable economic developments associated with the patent reforms in the recent decades.


Keywords: innovation, agriculture, patents, intellectual property rights, performance, intellectual property protection
JEL: Q17: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Agriculture / Agriculture in International Trade; Q16: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Agriculture / R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services; O34: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights / Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
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