Patenting activity in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals: a comparative analysis of the Nordic Countries
The main aim of this paper is to study innovative activity, as measured by patent indicators, in pharmaceutical and biotechnological sectors in the Nordic Countries. The biotech sector in general and pharmaceutical in particular is one of the areas selected for strategic investments in every Nordic country. In terms of patents granted by country of inventors Denmark plays a leading role followed by Sweden, while patenting activity in Finland and Norway is lower. A concentration of patents towards a relative small number of assignees (mainly large biotech and pharmaceutical companies based in Denmark and Sweden) is also observed. Norwegian patents, as measured by patent citations indices, are more “important” than those of the other countries, as well as in terms of relative size of innovations. Although there are other contributing factors, our data suggest that geographical proximity to large pharmaceutical companies plays a role in determining the relative success of national policies, and also that new investment policies in countries where large biotech or pharmaceutical companies are not established can yield positive returns in terms of innovation growth.
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