In the last decades, the structure of agricultural input industries has changed very rapidly. Private sector investment in agricultural and food research and development (R&D) has grown dramatically, while public-sector investments remained relatively constant. Private-sector plant breeding has been the fastest growing segment of the private research portfolio. Mergers, acquisitions, strategic alliances, and some divestiture have characterized the sector (Shoemaker et al., 2001). The number of patents of agricultural innovation has increased as a reaction to both the intervention of the private sector and its needs of intellectual property rights, and the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act, which enabled universities to patent results of research financed with federal funds (Yancey and Stewart, 2007). Research and development in the agricultural sector was traditionally provided by public research institutions (Alston et al., 2001), but the recent introduction of innovative research tools and technologies, usually owned by private firms, allowed them to become the leading actor in agricultural inputs production. Among new technologies, biotechnologies have many applications in agriculture, including diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics for animal health, DNA fingerprinting, marker assisted selection, intragenics and genetic engineering to develop genetically modified (GM) plants (Beuzekom and Arundel, 2009). Over the past decades, scientific discoveries in agricultural biotechnology accelerated and the use of patents and other intellectual property rights (IPRs) instruments increased proportionally to the number of final agbiotech products on the markets. Patents are a functional information tool to study changes, development and transfer of agricultural input innovations. Several studies examined the role of patents in the developmentand use of plant biotechnologies (i.e. plant transformationtechniques and structural genomics) showing that patents are important in inducing private firms to develop these platform technologies. Patent protection boosted the commercialization of many GM varieties. The impact of IP protection on public research appears ambiguous. Some authors suggest that the adoption of IP protection instruments gives public research institutes the opportunity to raise funding and provides incentives to researchers to produce innovations. Moreover, although the use of IPRs may seem to be in conflict with the traditional role of universities, which is to create, sustain and disseminate knowledge as a public good, it may be a way to increase social welfare. Maredia et al. (1999) argue that IP protection can be compatible with the mission of public organizations, especially in those cases where private firms underinvest in R&D due to small markets, high R&D costs and technological complexity. Starting from the seminal work of Schmookler (1966), which exploited patent statistics in the study of economic growth, several other authors suggested the analysis of patents as an economic indicator. Commanor and Scherer (1969) examined a panel of pharmaceutical firms and found a positive relation between patents and two measures of technicalchange, namely new product introduction and number of persons employed in research activity . They also suggested the use of patent data as measure of research input rather than output. Griliches et al. (1986) confirmed the relationship between R&D expenditures and patent applications, performing a wide survey on the value of patents as indicators of inventive activity. They concluded that patents data represent a valuable resource for the analysis of technological change, especially in the cross-sectional dimension. Griliches (1990) found a strong relationship betweenpatent numbers and R&D expenditure, arguing that patents are a good indicator of differences in inventive activity across firms. More recently Hagedoorn and Cloodt (2003), through an evaluation of a set of indicators of innovative performance ranging from R&D inputs to new productannouncements, stated that the number of patents filed by a company is a more direct consequence of inventive activity than other performance indicators. However, the use of patent data displays some difficulties. For example the economic value of a patent may differ greatly depending on the type of the owner of the patent. Public and private sectors may have different reasons to apply for a patent. As simple patent counts may not properly measure technology output, estimates of patent values (which have a per se interest) can be used to weight raw patent counts (Schankerman and Pakes, 1986; Austin, 1993). A recent approach to this problem has been the use of patent citations as a proxy of the value of a patent (Jaffe et al., 1993). Despite these difficulties, patent statistics represent a very useful tool for the analysis of technical change. Particularly relevant to our study is the analysis of Graff et al. (2003), which counted the agbiotech patents granted internationally and disentangled the role of private, public and private-public collaborations in producing agbiotech innovations. This study showed that the private sector played a major role in the overall production of agbiotech innovations, while the public sector is specialized in fundamental research fields. Our analysis contributes to the knowledge on patents related to agbiotech research in the international patent systems. We define an updated picture of agbiotech innovations filed in the patent systems of the most significant innovation areas worldwide. Furthermore, we investigate the degree of collaboration between the public and the private sector and the concentration of patent ownership in agbiotech innovations between private firms and public institutions. We analyze the agricultural biotech patents filed in 77 patent system worldwide from 1980 to 2010. We classify patents in agricultural biotechnologies according to their technological areas and we compare the patent portfolios of the private and public sectors. The analysis provides an updated picture of patents granted in the two world’ major patent systems, and assesses the degree of concentration and specialization of owners of patents in order to evaluate the capacity of develop new agbiotech innovations. We collected data on agricultural biotechnology patents by keywords extraction using the Espacenet service, Europe’ network of patent databases provided by the European Patent Office. Classification (IPC). We considered groups A01 (Agriculture; Forestry; Animal Husbandry; Hunting; Trapping; Fishing) and C12 (Biochemistry; […]; Microbiology; Enzymology; Mutation or Genetic Engineering) and other related subgroups. Aggregation of data has been organized as follows: applicants of the new technology, organization owner of the patent (i.e. multinational firms, other private firms, academic or government organizations or patent management companies), collaborations, origin (EPO or USTPO), publication date and technological categories. This organization allows a comparison with the 1982-2001 data provided by Graff et al. (2003). A high level of detailed data has been possible by manual selection, providing accurate identification of groups of data per aggregation items (i.e. applicant, organization, collaborations, origin and date). Furthermore, we analyzed separately patents related to cultivars because cultivars are patentable only at the USPTO but not at the EPO. Indeed, biotech cultivars in Europe can be filed only at the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). To analyze the rate of concentration among firms and sub categories, we used different index of concentration and specialization. First, we computed the Concentration Ratio (CR4), defined as the share of patents held by the top 4 firms or sub categories. Second, we computed the Herfindahl index (Hirschman, 1964). To examine the degree of specialization of the public sector for each country, we used the Revealed Technological Advantage Index (RTA) developed by Soete et al. (1987) and the standardized version following Wintjes and Dunnewijk (2008) at patents macro and sub categories level. We then developed a Patent Value Index , Vb, based on Patent System and year of application. In terms of preliminary results, we have shown that the public sector plays an important role in agbiotech basic research both in Europe and in US and it represents an important source of intellectual property. First we showed that a larger number of patents are filed at the USPTO than at the EPO. The number of agbiotech patents has been increasing in USPTO in the last two years, while it has been decreasing in EPO in the whole period. We showed the sub-categories, ‘genes & enzymes’, ‘bio processes/metabolic pathways’, ‘nutrition components’, ‘genetic transformation’ and ‘stress disease resistance’ account for more than 70% of patents at both USPTO and EPO. Second, we investigated differences between public and private sectors and found that the latter, and in particular six big multinationals, own the majority of the IP. This suggests a great economic interest in agricultural innovations, but it also displays a partial shift from the first wave of innovations (herbicide and insect resistance) to a new one (nutritional components). We also observe a diversification in the innovation typology: the private sector is much more market oriented, while the public sector is mainly focused on plant developmental processes useful in specific agricultural landscapes (for example developing plants with abiotic resistance). Third, we conducted an analysis of patents at the country level and showed that European research centres, both public and private, have more interests to obtain IP protection in the US. This may be explained by the fact that more permissive US regulation on biotech allows a better exploitation of the innovations embodied in final products. Finally, using a specialization index, we investigated the role of the public sector and we found that in EPO the public sector shows a specialization in the categories ‘bioprocesses DNA scale’, ‘pharmaceutical’, ‘male sterility’ and ‘yield’. The public research in USPTO shows no specialization. Our results give a basis for considering broader questions of science policy in agriculture, publicsector IP policies and the design of more effective IP management strategies in order to maximize the exploitation of patented technologies in this rapidly innovating industry.

LA STRUTTURA DELL¿INNOVAZIONE BIOTECH COSTRUZIONE E ANALISI DI UNA BANCA DATI BREVETTUALE ORIGINALE 1980-2010 / V. Ventura ; tutor: D.G.Frisio. - : . Universita' degli Studi di Milano, 2011 Dec 22. ((23. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2011.

LA STRUTTURA DELL¿INNOVAZIONE BIOTECH COSTRUZIONE E ANALISI DI UNA BANCA DATI BREVETTUALE ORIGINALE 1980-2010

V. Ventura
2011-12-22

Abstract

In the last decades, the structure of agricultural input industries has changed very rapidly. Private sector investment in agricultural and food research and development (R&D) has grown dramatically, while public-sector investments remained relatively constant. Private-sector plant breeding has been the fastest growing segment of the private research portfolio. Mergers, acquisitions, strategic alliances, and some divestiture have characterized the sector (Shoemaker et al., 2001). The number of patents of agricultural innovation has increased as a reaction to both the intervention of the private sector and its needs of intellectual property rights, and the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act, which enabled universities to patent results of research financed with federal funds (Yancey and Stewart, 2007). Research and development in the agricultural sector was traditionally provided by public research institutions (Alston et al., 2001), but the recent introduction of innovative research tools and technologies, usually owned by private firms, allowed them to become the leading actor in agricultural inputs production. Among new technologies, biotechnologies have many applications in agriculture, including diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics for animal health, DNA fingerprinting, marker assisted selection, intragenics and genetic engineering to develop genetically modified (GM) plants (Beuzekom and Arundel, 2009). Over the past decades, scientific discoveries in agricultural biotechnology accelerated and the use of patents and other intellectual property rights (IPRs) instruments increased proportionally to the number of final agbiotech products on the markets. Patents are a functional information tool to study changes, development and transfer of agricultural input innovations. Several studies examined the role of patents in the developmentand use of plant biotechnologies (i.e. plant transformationtechniques and structural genomics) showing that patents are important in inducing private firms to develop these platform technologies. Patent protection boosted the commercialization of many GM varieties. The impact of IP protection on public research appears ambiguous. Some authors suggest that the adoption of IP protection instruments gives public research institutes the opportunity to raise funding and provides incentives to researchers to produce innovations. Moreover, although the use of IPRs may seem to be in conflict with the traditional role of universities, which is to create, sustain and disseminate knowledge as a public good, it may be a way to increase social welfare. Maredia et al. (1999) argue that IP protection can be compatible with the mission of public organizations, especially in those cases where private firms underinvest in R&D due to small markets, high R&D costs and technological complexity. Starting from the seminal work of Schmookler (1966), which exploited patent statistics in the study of economic growth, several other authors suggested the analysis of patents as an economic indicator. Commanor and Scherer (1969) examined a panel of pharmaceutical firms and found a positive relation between patents and two measures of technicalchange, namely new product introduction and number of persons employed in research activity . They also suggested the use of patent data as measure of research input rather than output. Griliches et al. (1986) confirmed the relationship between R&D expenditures and patent applications, performing a wide survey on the value of patents as indicators of inventive activity. They concluded that patents data represent a valuable resource for the analysis of technological change, especially in the cross-sectional dimension. Griliches (1990) found a strong relationship betweenpatent numbers and R&D expenditure, arguing that patents are a good indicator of differences in inventive activity across firms. More recently Hagedoorn and Cloodt (2003), through an evaluation of a set of indicators of innovative performance ranging from R&D inputs to new productannouncements, stated that the number of patents filed by a company is a more direct consequence of inventive activity than other performance indicators. However, the use of patent data displays some difficulties. For example the economic value of a patent may differ greatly depending on the type of the owner of the patent. Public and private sectors may have different reasons to apply for a patent. As simple patent counts may not properly measure technology output, estimates of patent values (which have a per se interest) can be used to weight raw patent counts (Schankerman and Pakes, 1986; Austin, 1993). A recent approach to this problem has been the use of patent citations as a proxy of the value of a patent (Jaffe et al., 1993). Despite these difficulties, patent statistics represent a very useful tool for the analysis of technical change. Particularly relevant to our study is the analysis of Graff et al. (2003), which counted the agbiotech patents granted internationally and disentangled the role of private, public and private-public collaborations in producing agbiotech innovations. This study showed that the private sector played a major role in the overall production of agbiotech innovations, while the public sector is specialized in fundamental research fields. Our analysis contributes to the knowledge on patents related to agbiotech research in the international patent systems. We define an updated picture of agbiotech innovations filed in the patent systems of the most significant innovation areas worldwide. Furthermore, we investigate the degree of collaboration between the public and the private sector and the concentration of patent ownership in agbiotech innovations between private firms and public institutions. We analyze the agricultural biotech patents filed in 77 patent system worldwide from 1980 to 2010. We classify patents in agricultural biotechnologies according to their technological areas and we compare the patent portfolios of the private and public sectors. The analysis provides an updated picture of patents granted in the two world’ major patent systems, and assesses the degree of concentration and specialization of owners of patents in order to evaluate the capacity of develop new agbiotech innovations. We collected data on agricultural biotechnology patents by keywords extraction using the Espacenet service, Europe’ network of patent databases provided by the European Patent Office. Classification (IPC). We considered groups A01 (Agriculture; Forestry; Animal Husbandry; Hunting; Trapping; Fishing) and C12 (Biochemistry; […]; Microbiology; Enzymology; Mutation or Genetic Engineering) and other related subgroups. Aggregation of data has been organized as follows: applicants of the new technology, organization owner of the patent (i.e. multinational firms, other private firms, academic or government organizations or patent management companies), collaborations, origin (EPO or USTPO), publication date and technological categories. This organization allows a comparison with the 1982-2001 data provided by Graff et al. (2003). A high level of detailed data has been possible by manual selection, providing accurate identification of groups of data per aggregation items (i.e. applicant, organization, collaborations, origin and date). Furthermore, we analyzed separately patents related to cultivars because cultivars are patentable only at the USPTO but not at the EPO. Indeed, biotech cultivars in Europe can be filed only at the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). To analyze the rate of concentration among firms and sub categories, we used different index of concentration and specialization. First, we computed the Concentration Ratio (CR4), defined as the share of patents held by the top 4 firms or sub categories. Second, we computed the Herfindahl index (Hirschman, 1964). To examine the degree of specialization of the public sector for each country, we used the Revealed Technological Advantage Index (RTA) developed by Soete et al. (1987) and the standardized version following Wintjes and Dunnewijk (2008) at patents macro and sub categories level. We then developed a Patent Value Index , Vb, based on Patent System and year of application. In terms of preliminary results, we have shown that the public sector plays an important role in agbiotech basic research both in Europe and in US and it represents an important source of intellectual property. First we showed that a larger number of patents are filed at the USPTO than at the EPO. The number of agbiotech patents has been increasing in USPTO in the last two years, while it has been decreasing in EPO in the whole period. We showed the sub-categories, ‘genes & enzymes’, ‘bio processes/metabolic pathways’, ‘nutrition components’, ‘genetic transformation’ and ‘stress disease resistance’ account for more than 70% of patents at both USPTO and EPO. Second, we investigated differences between public and private sectors and found that the latter, and in particular six big multinationals, own the majority of the IP. This suggests a great economic interest in agricultural innovations, but it also displays a partial shift from the first wave of innovations (herbicide and insect resistance) to a new one (nutritional components). We also observe a diversification in the innovation typology: the private sector is much more market oriented, while the public sector is mainly focused on plant developmental processes useful in specific agricultural landscapes (for example developing plants with abiotic resistance). Third, we conducted an analysis of patents at the country level and showed that European research centres, both public and private, have more interests to obtain IP protection in the US. This may be explained by the fact that more permissive US regulation on biotech allows a better exploitation of the innovations embodied in final products. Finally, using a specialization index, we investigated the role of the public sector and we found that in EPO the public sector shows a specialization in the categories ‘bioprocesses DNA scale’, ‘pharmaceutical’, ‘male sterility’ and ‘yield’. The public research in USPTO shows no specialization. Our results give a basis for considering broader questions of science policy in agriculture, publicsector IP policies and the design of more effective IP management strategies in order to maximize the exploitation of patented technologies in this rapidly innovating industry.
FRISIO, DARIO GIANFRANCO
Settore AGR/01 - Economia ed Estimo Rurale
LA STRUTTURA DELL¿INNOVAZIONE BIOTECH COSTRUZIONE E ANALISI DI UNA BANCA DATI BREVETTUALE ORIGINALE 1980-2010 / V. Ventura ; tutor: D.G.Frisio. - : . Universita' degli Studi di Milano, 2011 Dec 22. ((23. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2011.
Doctoral Thesis
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