A metric proxy for the value of a patent – in how many countries is the patent registered

There is no reliable way to measure a patent’s value. But, according to an article in the Economist, January 5, 2013 at 52, “one can use a rough-and-ready yardstick: in how many places did the inventors seek a patent for the same technology?”


Somewhere the data is available to show that a given patent has been filed for and granted in a given number of countries.  On a parallel track, the more revenue a company gets internationally, the more widespread one would expect its patents to be, which might distort the value proxy.  In the United States, 27% of its inventors seek to patent their ideas abroad; in Europe, 40% do.  Each is a rough indicator of the other although patents may be a forward-looking indicator, since revenue follows.


Some companies routinely register new patents in tiers of countries.  To the degree that companies blanket patent like that, a metric based on value-indicated-by-number-of-countries offers less insight.


Both of these metrics ought to correlate with the percentage of a law department’s lawyers who are based internationally. Thus, when combined, these three metrics ought to point toward an index of globalization.  Any index has the potential for benchmark comparisons.

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