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Trends in University Ag-Biotech Patent Production

By Bradford L. Barham, Jeremy D. Foltz and Kwansoo Kim


This work exploits information on U.S. patents to identify trends in university ag-biotech patenting and citation performance. It sets forth some key issues concerning patterns of university ag-biotech patenting and then provides an empirical analysis on the evolving trends. Land Grant Universities account for most U.S. agbiotech patents. The data show a path dependent innovation pattern, in which there also seems to be a culture of patenting that develops at certain universities. Evidence shows that ag-biotech patents are more cited than the average university patent. Inequalities across Land Grant Universities are also evident in the production of agbiotech patents, although perhaps not to a much greater degree than underlying inequalities in funding and research qualities. The paper closes by considering how the evidence offered might be used to advance the public discussion regarding trends in agricultural biotechnology research in the U.S.Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,

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