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OECD Regions at a Glance

Index

Patents

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process with industrial applicability that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem (“inventive step”). A patent provides protection for the invention to the owner of the patent. The protection is granted for a limited period, generally 20 years. Patent documents report the inventors (where the invention takes place), as well as the applicants (owners), along with their addresses and country of residence. Patent counts are based on the inventor’s region of residence and fractional counts. If on the patent document are registered two or more inventors, the patent is classified as a co-patent.

Co-patents

A co-patent is classified as a collaboration between business (companies) and non-business organisations (government, universities or hospitals) when there is at least one business applicant and at least one public applicant. The co-patents so classified are successively assigned to the region(s) of residence/work of the co-inventors. Co-patents involving only individuals are not classified as business-non business collaboration. This has to be taken into account in the results, since in some countries the weight of individuals’ applicants is quite high.

OECD Regions

Regions in OECD Member Countries have been classified according to two territorial levels (TL). The higher level (Territorial Level 2) consists of about 362 macro-regions while the lower level (Territorial Level 3) is composed of 1794 micro-regions.This classification - which, for European countries, is largely consistent with the Eurostat classification - facilitates greater comparability of regions at the same territorial level. The differences with the Eurostat NUTS classification concern Belgium, Greece and the Netherlands where the NUTS 2 level correspond to the OECD TL3 and Germany where the NUTS1 corresponds to the OECD TL2 and the OECD TL3 corresponds to 97 spatial planning regions (Groups of Kreise). For the United Kingdom the Eurostat NUTS1 corresponds to the OECD TL2. An OECD metropolitan region typically consists of a core area with significant concentration of employment or population and a surrounding area densely populated and closely tied with the core. There are currently 90 metropolitan regions in the OECD, which are the aggregation of TL3 regions based on population density, size and commuting criteria.