Co-Patenting Patterns in Nanotechnology: A Comparison of South Korea and Germany

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


A number of scholars consider innovations to emerge within a system through interactions between different economic actors such as the state, public agencies, firms, public laboratories, universities, civil society, etc. (Freeman, 1987; Lundvall, 1992; Nelson, 1993). Initially, such systems were considered at a national level (Porter, 1990), but increasing globalization of innovation processes has replaced the national focus with a more outward, internationalized, outlook, to include regional (Cooke, 1994; 2002) and sectoral (Malerba and Orsenigo, 1997) perspectives. In these innovation systems, universities, public research organizations directly sponsored by government and firms are the dominant players engaged in R&D activity. Together, they are instrumental in determining the "rate and direction of inventive activity." Therefore, collaboration between these actors is deemed particularly important for the build-up of capabilities in new science based sectors like nanotechnology. But what kinds of collaborations are most effective? Are there patterns which are most suitable for a specific context or a target than another? The existing literature is relatively silent on such issues. This leads to the query, since the race to acquire capabilities in nanotechnology is relatively recent, and public-private collaboration is important for the same: can different countries exhibit different patterns of cooperation between public laboratories and private firms? In this chapter we attempt to provide a partial answer to the above question, by identifying and comparing patterns in collaborative patents in Germany and South Korea.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNanotechnology and Development: What's in It for Emerging Countries?
Editors S.V. Ramani
Place of PublicationNew Delhi
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Print)9781139794664
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014


  • National innovation systems
  • innovation systems
  • nanotechnology
  • South Korea
  • Germany
  • co-inventions
  • patent analysis

Cite this