Significance of Patents

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Patents have emerged as a major area of business competence. It has become as important as understanding innovation, technology, marketing, finance, corporate governance, industrial economics and strategy. They provide insights on technology, business and competition, and have the potential to affect key decisions, such as those related to the R&D and business strategies of a company, research organizations and universities.

A few examples that validate the strategic importance of patent information:

Worldwide companies are increasingly pursuing patent protection of their innovations, and are looking at building large patent portfolios. For example, in the five-year period, 1997-2001, the USPTO granted almost half a million patents. Over 700 companies/institutions were granted over 100 patents or more in these five years. The number of patents filed by these organizations is much more. These numbers clearly indicate that there is a great deal of patenting activity in companies across the world.

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