OECD Patent Statistics Manual

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This 2009 edition of the OECD Patent Statistics Manual takes stock of the recent developments in the field. It provides guiding principles for the use of patent data in the context of S&T measurement, and recommendations for the compilation and interpretation of patent indicators in this context. It aims to show what patent statistics can and cannot be used for, and how to count patents in order to maximise information on S&T activities while minimising statistical noise and biases. Finally, it describes how patent data can be used in the analysis of a wide array of topics related to technical change and patenting activity including industry-science linkages, patenting strategies by companies, internationalisation of research, and indicators on the value of patents.

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Indicators of the Internationalisation of Science and Technology

Inventive activities are increasingly organised at the international level (OECD, 2007). Inventions made by researchers residing in one country can be funded and owned by foreign companies, companies from different countries can join their resources to sponsor research, and researchers from different countries can co-operate on inventions, etc. Alliances across different geographical locations are formed to obtain research synergies and complementarities and to acquire new technological competences. The advent of global value chains, differences in research and development (R&D) costs, increased flexibility in handling cross-border R&D projects (owing to information and communication technology – ICT), and major policy changes (such as stronger intellectual property rights or the tax treatment of R&D) have all favoured this trend. Given the importance of these changes and their implications for the technological capacity of countries, it is important to quantify the intensity and geographical patterns of these activities.

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