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  • Invention and Collaboration Networks in Latin America: Evidence from Patent Data

    Carlos Bianchi*, Pablo Galaso**, and Sergio Palomeque***

    Our research aims to analyze the collaboration networks associated with the processes of invention and patenting in Latin American countries between 1970 and 2017. We build and analyze three types of collaboration networks: networks of inventors, networks of innovators (i.e. patent owners) and networks of countries in the region. The study of the structural properties and the evolution of such networks allow us to present unprecedented empirical evidence on the forms of interaction and collaboration to invent in Latin America. This evidence shows that collaboration networks in Latin America are highly fragmented and disconnected. Moreover, networks are notoriously foreign-oriented, i.e. the linkages with external nodes are critical compared to the low presence of local connections. The contributions of this work are three-fold. First, it presents novel empirical findings with unique information on interaction patterns at the Latin American level. Second, it allows analyzing the whole region and the main trends in the light of the large research background on invention and development from this region. Finally, it discusses some stylized facts in national cases, with the aim of encouraging new research questions for further research agenda.

    Some relevant findings

    Network graphs provide us a first sight of the overall connectivity in co-invention (Figure 1) and co-innovation (Figure 2) networks. Both types of networks are very fragmented in separate components, especially in the case of innovation networks. This finding implies that, at the Latin American level, there is no single and cohesive system of actors interacting and collaborating to produce patents. The Latin American reality seems to be made of, rather, a constellation of separate groups of inventors and innovators that, either form independent teams, or collaborate with absolutely no one.

    Figure 1. Co-invention networks at the Latin American level
    Figure 1. Co-invention networks at the Latin American level

    Source: authors based on PatentsView data. Note: grey nodes are inventors located in Latin America, black nodes are inventors located outside Latin America. For the sake of clarity, we present only the best-connected sections of the networks, where the largest components are located. Below each graph, the following data is presented: the total number of nodes in the network (N), the number of nodes represented in the graph (Selected) and the proportion represented by the nodes plotted against the total number of nodes of the network.

     

    Figure 2. Co-innovation networks at the Latin American level
    Figure 2. Co-innovation networks at the Latin American level

    Source: authors based on PatentsView data. Note: grey nodes are innovators located in Latin America, black nodes are located outside Latin America. For the sake of clarity, we present only the best-connected sections of the networks, where the largest components are located. Below each graph, the following data is presented: the total number of nodes in the network (N), the number of nodes represented in the graph (Selected) and the proportion represented by the nodes plotted against the total number of nodes of the network.

     

    (*) Instituto de Economía, Universidad de la República, Uruguay, email: cbianchi@iecon.ccee.edu.uy

    (**) Instituto de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Administración, Universidad de la República, email: pgalaso@iecon.ccee.edu.uy. Principal investigator

    (***) Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Administración, Universidad de la República, email: spalomeque@ccee.edu.uy [U1] 

    Download the full paper at: http://www.iecon.ccee.edu.uy/download.php?len=es&id=724&nbre=dt-04-20.pdf&ti=application/pdf&tc=Publicaciones

     

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  • Patenting in the West Coast Region

    The West Coast is a hub of high technology, from information and computing technology to aerospace.  Silicon Valley, Southern California (San Diego to Los Angeles) and the Seattle metropolitan area dominate this region in terms of patent production.  As we see in the map, the area outside Portland, Oregon as well as Las Vegas and Phoenix are also hotbeds of innovation. Still, in terms of total patent production, California leads the region with Washington a distant second.

    Top patent producing organizations include not only the well-known Silicon Valley firms – Intel, Qualcomm, Apple, and Google – but also Amazon in Washington and Nike in Oregon. Two entities under the Microsoft corporate umbrella (Microsoft Technology Licensing and Microsoft Corporation) are also key producers of patented innovation in the region.

    The number of forward citations a patent receives is indicative of its value and influence on future innovation. Highly cited patents (those having 100+ citations) are particularly impactful. Patents in electrical engineering, instrument and chemistry from California lead the way in terms influence. The most influential patents originating from the West Coast region involve electrical engineering. California generates, by far, the most highly cited patents, including those for electrical engineering but also those related to instrument technology and chemistry. 

    These observations reinforce the West Coast’s reputation as a global leader in high tech innovation.

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    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Silicon Valley Regional Office is located in San Jose, California and serves Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. The goal of the Silicon Valley Regional Office is to promote innovation and stimulate the economy by connecting entrepreneurs to government resources, supporting students and teachers through our STEM education programs, gathering feedback from regional stakeholders, and recruiting diverse talent from the region. For more information, see https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/uspto-locations/silicon-valley-california.

    Data for this post was derived from the PatentsView website and database:  https://www.patentsview.org

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  • Patenting in the Rocky Mountain Region

    The Rocky Mountain region, home to the Western frontier spirit, is no stranger to innovation.  As we see from the map, Boise leads the region for producing the most patents.  But we also see hotbeds of innovation surrounding Denver, Colorado – including Englewood, Fort Collins and Boulder – and Salt Lake City, Utah – including Provo and Orem. Overland Park, Kansas, home of Sprint’s corporate headquarters, and Omaha, Nebraska, are also regional centers of innovation.

    Although the city of Denver has fewer total patents than Boise, the state of Colorado leads the region with the most patents produced in recent years.  Utah has also seen a recent rise in patented innovation.

    Boise’s innovative prominence is led by Micron Technology, which ranks first among the top 10 patent-producing assignees in the Rocky Mountain region. Two entities under the Sprint Corporation (Sprint Communications and Sprint Spectrum) are also key producers of patented innovation. The prominence of information technology and telecommunications is evident among the top patenting firms, including EchoStar Technologies, Level 3 Communications and CenturyLink. The top patent producers also include the University of Utah, showing the relative importance of academic-led research to the region.

    The number of forward citations a patent receives is indicative of its value and influence on future innovation. Highly cited patents (those having 100+ citations) are particularly influential. Every state in the Rocky Mountain region has contributed some highly-cited patents across a diverse range of sectors. Despite lower overall patent production, Kansas generates a significant number of highly cited patents across diverse sectors, including in electrical engineering, instruments and mechanical engineering.  Similarly, Colorado is the source for some of the region’s most influential patents in electrical engineering, instruments and design.

    These observations indicate a strong level of valuable patenting activity in the Rocky Mountain region, spread across several states and a diverse range of technologies.

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    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Rocky Mountain Regional Office is located in Denver, Colorado and serves Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.  The goal of the Rocky Mountain Regional Office is to promote innovation and stimulate the economy by connecting entrepreneurs to government resources, supporting students and teachers through our STEM education programs, gathering feedback from regional stakeholders, and recruiting diverse talent from the region. For more information, see https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/uspto-locations/rocky-mountain-regional-office-colorado.

    Data for this post was derived from the PatentsView website and database:  https://www.patentsview.org

     

     

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  • Patenting in the Midwest Region

    Historically, the Midwest has been an industrial powerhouse in the United States. As we see from the map, patent activity is strong throughout all the states of the Midwest region. The top patent-producing entities are located in the vicinity of Detroit, Chicago and the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul.  Still, the map shows additional innovation hotspots in St. Louis, Indianapolis and Cincinnati.  

    Patent production in the Midwest states has been fairly consistent between 2013 and 2017, with the notable exception of Michigan which experienced a sharp increase in patenting after 2014. This growth has been driven, in part, by increased patenting by Ford Global Technologies in Dearborn. Michigan is also consistently the region’s top patent producing state, followed by Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio.

    Looking at the top patent-producing assignees, we see Michigan-based General Motors and Ford dominating, with Boeing and 3M not far behind. These four companies consistently lead patent production in the region.  The remaining top patent assignees reflect a diverse range of industries: Proctor & Gamble in consumer goods, Caterpillar in equipment manufacturing, Monsanto in agriculture and Medtronic in medical devices. 

    The number of forward citations a patent receives is indicative of its value and influence on future innovation. Highly cited patents (those having 100+ citations) are particularly impactful. The most influential patents originating from the Midwest region involve instrument technology. Ohio generates, by far, the most highly cited patents, including those for instrument technology but also those related to mechanical and electrical engineering. 

    These observations are reflective of the Midwest’s strong industrial heritage and its drive to innovate.

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    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Midwest Regional Office is located in Detroit, Michigan and serves Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  As the first USPTO regional office (opened July 2012), the goal of the Midwest Regional Office is to promote innovation and stimulate the economy by connecting entrepreneurs to government resources, supporting students and teachers through our STEM education programs including professional development for teachers, gathering feedback from regional stakeholders, and recruiting diverse talent from the region. For more information, see https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/uspto-locations/detroit-michigan.

    Data for this post was derived from the PatentsView website and database:  https://www.patentsview.org

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  • Patents Used in Patent Office Rejections as Indicators of Value

    Christopher Anthony Cotropia, University of Richmond - School of Law and David L. Schwartz, Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law

    The economic literature emphasizes the importance of patent citations, particularly forward citations, as an indicator of a cited patent’s value. Studies have refined which forward citations are better indicators of value, focusing on examiner citations for example. We test a metric that arguably is closer tied to private value—the substantive use of a patent by an examiner in a patent office rejection of another pending patent application. This paper assesses how patents used in 102 and 103 rejections relate to common measures of private value—specifically patent renewal, the assertion of a patent in litigation, and the number of patent claims. We examine rejection data from U.S. patent applications pending from 2008 to 2017 and then link value data to rejection citations to patents issued from 1999 to 2007. Our findings show that rejection patents are independently, positively correlated with many of the value measurements above and beyond forward citations and examiner citations.

    The Sankey diagram, above, shows the relationship between forward citation and 102 and 103 rejection use, depicting a shuffle amongst quartiles from the citation of a patent to its use in a rejection. Even patents in the lowest quartile of citation appear in the highest quartile of actual rejections, and vice versa, emphasizing the new and valuable information rejection use provides.

    Download paper at: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3274995

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