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Patent activities in non-R&D-intensive technology areas

: Neuhäusler, Peter; Frietsch, Rainer


Som, Oliver (Ed.); Kirner, Eva (Ed.):
Low-tech innovation : Competitiveness of the German manufacturing sector
Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2015
ISBN: 978-3-319-09972-9 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-319-09973-6 (Online)
ISBN: 3-319-09973-6
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-09973-6
Book Article
Fraunhofer ISI ()

Intellectual property protection via patenting can be regarded as an indispensable means to stay competitive at the national and international levels, also in non-R&D-intensive technology areas. As patents can be used as output indicators of innovation, we aim to shed light on the technological output of non-R&D-intensive sectors with the help of in-depth patent analyses. In addition to investigating the absolute numbers and shares of patent filings compared with the high-technology areas, we examine the positioning of non-R&D-intensive sectors within the innovation chain and assess their internationalisation trends within Germany over the last decade. The results of our analyses, which are based on the “EPO Worldwide Patent Statistical Database” (PATSTAT), show that the non-R&D-intensive technology areas are an integral part of the development of research and technology within the world economy. Patents from the non-R&D-intensive areas constitute approximately 40 % of worldwide transnational filings, although the size and importance of the non-R&D-intensive technology areas is highly dependent on national idiosyncrasies and industrial structures. The internationalisation trends reveal that the non-R&D-intensive technology areas are even more strongly targeted toward international markets than high-level technologies, although technologies from non-R&D-intensive are largely positioned at the end of the innovation chain, providing rather downstream or market-oriented inventions.