H. Phoebe Chan
University of Michigan-Flint.

This paper examines the international patent behavior of nine major firms for seven patent authorities: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Patent Office (EPO), Japan, and South Africa. The patent sample is based on firms having an initial US patent application; this provides an indication of the amount of technology transfer that occurs from the United States to other countries. Using patent data, the research examines the correlation of firms’ patent application decisions based on crop and invention types, the differences in the patent grant rates among the patent authorities, and firms’ decisions to pursue patent renewals. The analysis uses empirical evidence to justify possible reasons for the lack of observing much technology transfer from the United States to other countries. Australia, Canada, and the EPO are most likely to receive patent applications. Corn and soybean and gene and method inventions are most likely to be applied for abroad. Approval rates are generally low and vary among patent offices.

Key words: Corn, international patents, rice, soybean, technology transfer, wheat.