Title: Motives for patenting biotechnological inventions: an empirical investigation in Switzerland

Authors: Nikolaus Thumm

Addresses: Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, Einsteinstr. 2, CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland

Abstract: Patents are nowadays used in many different ways. The original idea of the patent system was to protect inventions and to foster the distribution of the technology involved, thereby functioning as an incentive for investment in research and development. This primary function is losing importance as new, secondary uses of patents come into focus such as to protect the reputation of the company, to be offered as bargaining chips, and to block competitors. This article investigates the relevance of patents in the biotechnology industry. It examines in how far patents are an adequate appropriation method to provide incentives for biotechnological inventions. The results are based on a survey conducted in Switzerland.

Keywords: patent propensity; biotechnological inventions; patent motives; secrecy; alternative protection tools; incentives; Switzerland; biotechnology; patents.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTPM.2004.006078

International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management, 2004 Vol.4 No.3, pp.275 - 285

Published online: 31 Jan 2005 *

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