Czech Republic: Knowledge The Patent Activity of the R&D Subject

Author / Editor: Roman Dvorak, Editor-in-Chief, Publisher, MM Industrial Spectrum, Czech Republic / Susanne Hertenberger

Growing importance of creating, applying and diffusing innovation for the performance and competitiveness of national economies increases the need for international comparison of innovation performance.

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Patent applications filed under the PCT
Patent applications filed under the PCT
(Source: OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard)

Innovation Union Scoreboard (IUS) represents the key analytical tool for innovation performance comparison of European countries. According to the overall comparison of innovation performance, the Czech Republic is during the whole period among “moderate innovators”, i.e. in the third of the total four performance groups of countries. Nevertheless, compared to average innovation performance of the EU, the development of the Czech innovation performance mostly tends to convergence. The main weaknesses of the Czech innovation system were identified in low availability of financial resources and qualified labour force for R&D and other knowledge intensive branches as well as in unsatisfactory utilisation of tools for the intellectual property rights protection.

Significant bottleneck

An effective knowledge transfer between research institutions and industry is a significant bottleneck in the national innovation system. CR adopted in recent years a series of systemic measures aimed to stimulate the orientation of the R&D organizations towards the generation of knowledge directly applicable in the innovation process and more generally to improve the collaboration of the R&D establishment with the industry. In the majority of programs supporting the applied research patents and industrial designs and utility models are among the anticipated results. The Methodology of the evaluation of R&D organizations implemented in the second half of the last decade brought financial bonuses for the creation of the results in the category of industrial property. Despite of this stimulus CR lags behind the technologically advanced EU countries in the patent activities.

Limited commercial usability

The experts from the Czech Technology Centre CAS published a study comparisons of the protection of the industrial property rights in the Czech higher education institutions and governmental R&D institutions with selected EU countries. They make use of a couple of quantitative indicators to assess the quality and the technological and the commercial potential of the produced industrial property. Despite a dynamic growth of the patent applications in the CR the number of patent applications relative to the country size is far below the EU-15 average. The Czech research organizations contribute to a higher extent to the number of patent applications then do the analogous institutions in EU-15 countries where the majority of patent applications come from the industrial sphere. The Czech research organizations mainly limit the patent rights to the Czech Republic whereas in the EU-15 countries the opposite is preponderant and only a small fraction of patent applications remains limited to the national environment. Thus the majority of the Czech patents created by research organizations cannot be commercialized on the international scene nor can contribute to the international competitiveness of the Czech industry. The patent applications submitted by the Czech research organizations are significantly less cited. This indicates that the protected intellectual property is of lesser importance. The Methodology of the evaluation of research organizations which was implemented in the second half of the last decade has visibly stimulated the patent activities of the research organizations but simultaneously an absence of any assessment of a future commercialization promoted a production of intellectual property of a limited commercial usability.