Mapping Iranian patents based on International Patent Classification (IPC), from 1976 to 2011
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Patents are used as an indicator to assess the growth of science and technology in a given country or area. They are being examined to determine research potentials of research centers, universities, and inventors. The aim of this study is to map the past and current trends in patenting activities with a view to better understanding and tracking the changing nature of science and technology in Iran. The patenting activity in the Iran was investigated for the period 1976–2011, based on the USPTO, WIPO, and EPO (Esp@cenet). We analyzed the affiliation of inventers and collected patents which have at least an Iranian inventor. The collected data were analyzed applying Microsoft Excel. Analytical results demonstrate that between 1976 and 2011, 212 patents have been registered by Iranian inventors in the three above-mentioned databases. The average number of Iranian patents registered per year has increased significantly from 25 in 1976–1980 period to 119 in 2006–2011. It was noted that the highest number of registered patents (27 %) were in “chemistry, metallurgy” area of International Patent Classification (IPC), followed by “human necessities” (18 %), “electricity” (17 %), and “performing operations; transporting” (15 %). Overall, it can be concluded that patent-activities are highly country-specific, the results indicate that Iran is focused on “chemistry, metallurgy” technology.