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Saturday, November 14, 2015

World Intellectual Property Report 2015

Published every two years, the report looks at trends and interesting topics in IP. 2015's theme is 'Breakthrough Innovations' and examines key technologies that have had transformative economic effects.The report's concept is to gain better understanding of how breakthrough innovations come about and the relationship with IP. The report develops six case studies -- three past and three current breakthrough technologies -- to trace their economic impact and the factors which facilitated their development. 
The three historical are airplanes, antibiotics and semiconductors; the three current are 3d printing, nanotechnology and robotics. Each of these case studies is detailed from a historical perspective, complemented with statistical analysis of related patents and patent mapping, and an analysis of the relationship between the innovation and IP.The six case studies included in this report point to a number of well-known elements of success:

  • Governments have been the main source of funding for scientific research that was often instrumental in inventive breakthroughs. In many cases, governments have also played a crucial role in initially moving promising technology from the laboratory to the production stage – often motivated by national defense and industrial policy interests.
  • Competitive market forces and efforts on the part of firms were equally crucial, especially in commercializing promising ideas and engaging in follow on innovation that facilitated scaled-up production, cost reductions and wide-scale adoption of new technologies.
  • Linkages between the various innovation actors mattered. They ranged from informal knowledge exchanges, professional networks and worker movements to formal university–industry licensing frameworks and R&D collaborations. They promoted the sharing of knowledge among researchers and connected the upstream and downstream activities that helped transform promising ideas into commercial technologies.

China emerges as an important origin of patents in 3D printing, nanotechnology and robotics. In particular, looking at first patent applications filed since 2005, Chinese applicants account for more than a quarter of first filings worldwide in the case of 3D printing and robotics – the highest share among all countries. In the case of nanotechnology patent filings since 2005, Chinese applicants make up close to 15 percent of fillings worldwide – the third largest origin of patents. 

Sadly India does not figure anywhere, neither in patent generation nor as destination for patent protection. 

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