Using patent data for monitoring the globalisation of R&D
In the paper results of a study will be presented that set out to develop and test of an approach to link the location of R&D investments of companies with the geographic distribution of their patent portfolio. The rationale behind it wat that patent information could be used to substitute R&D investment data at the firm level as the latter can be obtained only with comparable high efforts and often remains incomplete. However it turned out that gathering regional R&D investment data was even more challenging than anticipated and thus, the focus of the analysis shifted towards the analysis of regional patenting activities of 18 company groups for which patent portfolios were constructed based on information on the location of these activities. Based on these data patterns become visible concerning firm preferences concerning there regional engagement in selected fields of technology and the choice where to apply for patent proctection. In addition methodological recommendation concerning the procedures and data used to analyse structures of R&D activities of multinational firms can be derived.