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Patent Statistics in the Age of Globalisation: New Legal Producers, new Analytical Methods, new Economic Interpretation

: Grupp, H.; Schmoch, U.


Research policy 28 (1999), Nr.4, S.377-396
ISSN: 0048-7333
Fraunhofer ISI ()
global knowledge production; international patent procedure; measurement of technical change; patent statistics; Patent; Patentrecht

Patent analysis seems to become more difficult in the age of globalisation. Starting form microlevel observations, it is evident that multinational enterprises pursue different technological, marketing and strategic aims. In effect, they cover world markets in a distinctly different manner with patent intellectual property. This article, in good economic tradition, starts with consideration of recent microlevel patent behaviour in telecommunications before new macroeconomic porcedures to measure technical change are outlined. The new challenge to patent statistics comprise the assignment of countries to patent documents of multinational firms, the appropriate use of economic "filters" in comparing patent statistics from various patent offices, the fitting of the new international patent procedure offered by the amended Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) to national statistics, the assinment of patent applications in case of withdrawn country destinations and the estimation of time series if most recent data sets are incomplete. We propose consistent, workable adjustments to patent statistics that overcome the above-mentioned biases, which we denote the 'trial patent model', for measuring technical progress in the proper economic sense. First applications deal with the assessment of the pace of technical change in major countries patent statistics up until 1995. In conclusion we discuss problems for future research. The main policy implication is that macoecomomic patent statistics can correct for the effects of global knowledge production, indeed, as these not disruptive but rather limited and well accountable.