The Role of Patenting in the Valuation of Biomedical Innovation




patents, value, valuation, biotechnology, innovation


Intellectual property rights (IPR), and patents in particular, play a central role the commercialisation of new knowledge and techniques in the life sciences. This paper analyses the effects of the patent ecosystem using the sociology of valuation and evaluation. Specifically, the patent ecosystem can be interrogated in terms of which activities, entities or choices it valorises and which it disincentivises. This will be illustrated using three case studies of emerging life sciences technologies; gene editing, induced pluripotent stem cells, and 3D bioprinting. Each represents a domain of growing patenting activity. This analysis illustrates how the practical application of the tests for patentability by national patent offices facilitates fragmentation of complex biotechnological processes into multiple, distinct legal claims. The resulting proliferation of IPR gives a particular value to patents as rent-generating devices, as bargaining tools to negotiate market access, reassure investors, and as tools for shaping the configuration of emerging technology fields.




How to Cite

Morrison, M. (2024). The Role of Patenting in the Valuation of Biomedical Innovation. Tecnoscienza – Italian Journal of Science & Technology Studies, 14(2), 7–26.