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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Patent Systems and Procedures

To obtain a patent for an invention, the individual or institution which owns the invention (an enterprise, or a public or private institution such as a university or a government body) has to file an application at the patent office. An applicant who wants to have patent protection in multiple countries can file for a patent in each country separately, file a patent application at a regional office, or file a patent application at the international patent office and request entry into the national stage in each country in which patent protection is sought.

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