Australian medical patents granted in the United States in 1984‐1999
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OBJECTIVE: To describe all medical patents granted in the United States to Australian-resident inventors between 1984 and 1999. DATA SOURCES: All patent data originated from the US Patent and Trademark Office. Data for 1984-1994 were compiled by CHI Research Inc, and data for 1995-1999 were obtained from the Community of Science website. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number of medical patents granted in the US to Australian-resident inventors; assignees (owners) of these medical patents; proportion of these medical patents related to biotechnology. RESULTS: From 1984 to 1999, 7835 utility patents were granted in the US to Australian-resident inventors. Of these, 1308 patents (17%) were identified as medical patents; 489 (37%) of these were biotechnology patents. Medical patents account for an increasing proportion of all US patents granted to Australian inventors, increasing from 10% in 1984 to 25% in 1999. Biotechnology accounted for an increasing proportion of medical patents, rising from 10% to 55% between 1984 and 1999. More than half the medical patents are owned by commercial interests, and 33% by only 14 organisations, six of which are universities and their affiliated institutions. CONCLUSION: Only a few organisations account for most of the patenting of medical technology. The inventors and their organisations listed on medical patents could be canvassed when developing government policy and targeted for support in commercialising their medical technology.
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