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OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2012

image of OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2012

Based on the latest information and indicators in science and innovation, the OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2012 reviews key trends in STI policies and performance in OECD countries and major emerging economies, and across a number of thematic areas. In this edition, individual policy profiles and country profiles trace the driving role that science, technology and innovation are expected to continue to play towards a sustainable and lasting recovery from the economic crisis.

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Patent policies

A patent is a legal title that gives the holder the right to exclude others from using a particular invention. If the invention is successful on the market the patent holder will profit from its monopoly power. Patents therefore allow inventors to internalise more of the benefits they generate: without such a mechanism inventions would be immediately imitated and inventors’ return on their investment would be reduced. Patents are granted in return for disclosure of the invention: they therefore play a role in the diffusion of knowledge. Inventors and firms apply for patents at patent offices, which grant (or reject) patents for their jurisdiction (domestic market), in accordance with their legal statute. Most patent offices are national; the main exception is the European Patent Office (EPO).

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