Technology Report | Published:

An International Perspective

Bio/Technologyvolume 1pages3336 (1983) | Download Citation


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  1. 1

    Quantitative data given in this paper are derived from patents reported in the biweekly periodical, Biotechnology Patent Digest, OMEC Publishing Co., McLean, VA.

  2. 2

    Science Indicators 1980, National Science Foundation, p. 18–21, 1981.

  3. 3

    The percentages given do not include U.S. inventors assigning their rights to foreign organizations.

  4. 4

    While there are examples of foreign inventors assigning the rights to U.S. corporations in the 1982 biotechnology patents covered, the practice is not significant (less than 10 examples). Also, equal examples exist of U.S. inventors assigning their rights to foreign corporations. Again, the total number is not significant.

  5. 5

    Merck and Miles are identified as U. S. companies because the patents issued to them were assigned to the U.S. organization. However, Merck is also based in West Germany and Miles is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, a West German company.

  6. 6

    The author recognizes that some patents from the new genetic engineering companies may have been filed but not yet issued. Indeed, a few have been filed at other patent offices, especially the European Patent Office. Also, the U.S. PTO has been quite efficient in issuing most biotechnology patents within 2 years after filing. Some patents have been issued in less than a year, but there are also cases which required a longer time period.

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  1. Oskar R. Zaborsky, Ph.D., is program director at the National Science Foundation and founding editor of Biotechnology Patent Digest.

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