Patents and Innovations for Growth and Welfare
Chapter 5: Patents, innovations and growth – empirical analysis
Several structural problems existed in the Swedish national innovation system, such as heavy dominance of large firms in R & D and innovation, too few major innovations, especially in new rather than existing business areas, too few mid-sized innovative companies and difficulties for innovative companies to grow into large ones, new innovative large companies and rapidly increasing foreign ownership of innovative companies. Various forms of open innovation were prevalent and important. Patents played no role in fast growing SMEs in general, a minor role in IT companies and a major role in high-tech SMEs and large firms. Much of company sales and most inventions were protected by patents in large firms, for whom their R & D would be reduced by about a third and their sales by about a fourth in the absence of a patent system. The elasticity of innovation spiral variable relationships was clearly positive for large firms. The demand and supply of patent and IP education was deficient and not in accordance with the role of patents and IP in the economy.
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