21 September 2020

AI patenting and innovation hubs

'Patenting patterns in Artificial Intelligence: Identifying national and international breeding grounds' by Matheus Eduardo Leusin, Jutta Günther, Björn Jindra and Martin G Moehrle in (2020) 62 World Patent Information comments 

This paper identifies countries at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence (AI) development and proposes two novel patent-based indicators to differentiate structural differences in the patterns of intellectual property (IP) protection observed for AI across countries. In particular, we consider (i) the extent to which countries specialise in AI and are relevant markets for corresponding IP protection (‘National Breeding Ground’); and (ii) the extent to which countries attract AI from abroad for IP protection and extend the protection of their AI-related IP to foreign markets (‘International Breeding Ground’). Our investigation confirms prior findings regarding substantial changes in the technological leadership in AI, besides drastic changes in the relevance of AI techniques over time. Particularly, we find that National and International Breeding Grounds overlap only partially. China and the US can be characterised as dominant National Breeding Grounds. Australia and selected European countries, but primarily the US, are major International Breeding Grounds. We conclude that China promotes AI development with a major focus on IP protection in its domestic market, whereas the US sustains its AI progress in the international context as well. This might indicate a considerable bifurcation in the structural patterns of IP protection in global AI development.

'Who collects intellectual rents from knowledge and innovation hubs? questioning the sustainability of the singapore model' by Cecilia Rikap and David Flacher in (2020) 55 Structural Change and Economic Dynamics 59-73 comments 

While knowledge and innovation are produced in networks involving diverse actors, associated rents are greatly appropriated by global leaders, mostly coming from core countries, that become intellectual monopolies. This raises the question on emerging or peripheral countries companies’ capacity to catch-up, innovate and compete for intellectual rents. The article considers the case of Singapore who has pursued a knowledge hub strategy aimed at: 1) creating world class universities inserted in global knowledge networks of defined fields; and 2) capturing intellectual rents through those institutions’ research and contributing to local firms’ catching up. We show that research universities caught-up. However, we find that foreign companies, particularly multinationals, capture most of Singapore's intellectual rents at the expense of local companies and research institutions. Overall, our findings point to the limitations of Singapore's knowledge hub as a catching-up strategy. The article ends discussing the relevancy of these findings for emerging countries in general.