Patent landscaping using 'green' technological trajectories

Önder Nomaler & Bart Verspagen


We present a number of green technology patent landscaping exercises, based on a method that we developed earlier to identify the main technological trends in a very large (i.e., universal) patent citation network comprising all patented technologies. This method extracts a so-called network of main paths, where we interpret each path as a technological trajectory in the sense of Dosi (1982). We use co-occurrence on the technological trajectories as the main metric to build a network of technological relations, with green/non-green, the technology class (4-digit IPC classes) and geographical location (countries) as the main dimensions along which we observe green technology. The technology landscaping exercise visualises these networks. In this way, we draw a detailed map of green technologies (along with the particular non-green technologies that contribute thereto or benefit therefrom), in which we find both very broad and general areas (such as ICT or medical and health), and specific green technologies, such as batteries, wind power and electric vehicles. In the geography- based map, we find specific European and non-European areas. In all our landscaping maps, non-green technologies play a large role, indicating that sectoral and geographical progress in greentech cannot be fully understood independently of developments in particular fields of non-greentech technologies.

Keywords: green technology; technological trajectories; patent citations; patent landscaping

JEL Classification: O31, O33, Q55

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