Design patent: Protects the visual ornamental characteristics of an article of manufacture.

European Union (EU): The EU comprises 28 member nations: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Unless otherwise noted, data on the EU include all 28 nations.

Federally funded research and development center (FFRDC): R&D-performing organizations that are exclusively or substantially financed by the federal government to meet a particular R&D objective or, in some instances, to provide major facilities at universities for research and associated training purposes. Each FFRDC is administered by an industrial firm, a university, or a nonprofit institution.

Information and communication technologies (ICT): For economic output data, OECD includes industries from International Standard Industrial Classification Revision Code 4: 26 Computer, electronic, and optical products; 582 Software publishing; 61 Telecommunications; and 62-63 IT and other information services (OECD 2017a). For patent data technology classes, ICT refers to these technology areas: Computer, electrical machinery, apparatus, energy, semiconductors, digital communication, telecommunications, audio-visual technology, basic communication processes, and IT methods for management (Inaba and Squicciarini 2017; OECD 2017b). For PitchBook venture capital data, ICT refers to computer hardware, software, media, communications and networking, IT services, and semiconductors industries.

Innovation: The implementation of a new or improved product or business process that differs significantly from previous products or processes and that has been introduced in the market or brought into use by the firm (OECD/Eurostat 2018).

Intangibles: Nonphysical factors that contribute to or are used to produce goods or services or are intended to generate future benefits to the entities that control their use (Blair and Wallman 2001).

Intellectual property: Creations of the mind including inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce. Industrial intellectual property includes patents, utility models, trademarks, and industrial designs. Intellectual property covered by copyright includes literary, artistic, and musical works (WIPO 2019).

International patent family: A group of patents from different national authorities; each member of the family shares a single initial invention. The organization of these families around a single initial invention means that there may be fewer patent families than individual patents.

Invention: The development of something new that has a practical bent—potentially useful, previously unknown, and nonobvious.

Knowledge transfer: The process by which technology or knowledge developed in one place or for one purpose is applied and used in another place for the same or a different purpose. This transfer can occur freely or through exchange and be deliberate or unintentional.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): An international organization of 34 countries, headquartered in Paris, France. The member countries are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Among its many activities, OECD compiles social, economic, and S&T statistics for all member and selected nonmember countries.

Priority patent: The first patent filed in a family of subsequent patents that refers to the original patent. The original filing may be domestic or from another jurisdiction.

Technology transfer: The process by which technology or knowledge developed in one place or for one purpose is applied and exploited in another place for another purpose. In the federal setting, technology transfer is the process by which existing knowledge, facilities, or capabilities developed under federal R&D funding are used to fulfill public and private needs.

Trademark: A word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. In this report, trademark refers to both goods and services.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) patent: A property right granted by the U.S. government to an inventor “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States” for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted. (This is the USPTO definition, found on the USPTO website at, accessed 15 June 2017.)

Utility patent: Intellectual property protection for a potentially useful, previously unknown, and nonobvious invention.

Key to Acronyms and Abbreviations

ARPA-E: Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy

BDS: Business Dynamics Statistics

BEA: Bureau of Economic Analysis

BLS: Bureau of Labor Statistics

BRDIS: Business R&D and Innovation Survey

BRDS: Business Research and Development Survey

CIS: Community Innovation Surveys

CRADA: cooperative R&D agreement

DHS: Department of Homeland Security

DOC: Department of Commerce

DOD: Department of Defense

DOE: Department of Energy

ED: Department of Education

EPO: European Patent Office

EU: European Union

EUIPO: European Union Intellectual Property Office

FFRDC: federally funded research and development center

FY: fiscal year

GDP: gross domestic product

HHS: Department of Health and Human Services

ICT: information and communication technology

INPADOC: International Patent Documentation

IPC: International Patent Classification

IT: information technology

IUCRC: Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers

MEP: Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership

MFP: multifactor productivity

NAICS: North American Industry Classification System

NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NIPA: national income and product accounts

NIST: National Institute of Standards and Technology

NPL: nonpatent literature

NSF: National Science Foundation

OECD: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

PATSTAT: Worldwide Patent Statistical Database

R&D: research and development

ROW: rest of the world

S&E: science and engineering

S&T: science and technology

SBA: U.S. Small Business Administration

SBIR: Small Business Innovation Research

STTR: Small Business Technology Transfer

TFP: total factor productivity

UK: United Kingdom

UPOV: International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants

USDA: U.S. Department of Agriculture

USPTO: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization