Inderscience Publishers

Patents as a measure for eco-innovation

This paper examines the usefulness of patent analysis for measuring different types of eco-innovation. The overall conclusion is that patents are a useful means for measuring environmentally motivated product innovations, and more generally technologies with environmental benefits. For these types of innovations it is acceptable to use patent analysis, provided they are carefully screened for relevance. Patent analysis may be used for measuring five attributes of eco-innovation: 1) eco-inventive activities in specific technology fields; 2) international technological diffusion; 3) research and technical capabilities of companies; 4) institutional knowledge sources of eco-innovation; 5) technological spillovers and knowledge flows.

Keywords: eco-innovation, patents, product innovation, patent analysis, technology diffusion, technological spillovers, knowledge flow, technical capabilities, research capabilities

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