Biotechnology Inventions: What Can We Learn From Patents
This paper explores several characteristics of patents in the biotechnology field, comparing and contrasting them to patents in other fields of research. We find that biotechnology patents face a longer lag between application and grant date, and their secrecy would be heavily affected if legislation were to permit publication 18 months after application. They are highly concentrated geographically, as well as in industrial origin, and are used most heavily in the health sector, but have a wider spread in use than in origin. They use many more (and much more recent) references than the average patent, with a special weight on academic or scientific literature, foreign patents, and a tight circle of research fields. While they are not cited frequently on average, their use as germplasm is rising. Future research should focus on the questions that have been uncovered.
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