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2024 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

1. Geographical and Industrial Dynamics of Chemical Inventions: The Case of Persistent Organic Pollutants

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Abstract

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are a class of highly toxic chemical substances, and for this reason, their use, production, and trade have been banned across countries worldwide. I examine the first group of POPs to be banned (i.e., aldrin, chlordane, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene, mirex, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), toxaphene, DDT, pentachlorobenzene and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins) and investigate the historical and emergent pattern of POP-related inventions by way of a unique dataset that includes patent applications over the period 1991–2010. I find an industry growth over time characterized by an increasing number of new firms inventing around POP-related technologies as well as a diffusion in a range of new countries such as China, Argentina, Brazil and Russia rather than the USA, EU and Japan where POP-related inventions were first filed in history.

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Footnotes
1
A CAS Registry Number is a unique numerical identifier assigned by the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) to every chemical substance described in the open scientific literature including organic and inorganic compounds.
 
2
A patent family is defined as a set of patents taken in various countries to protect a single invention. Depending on some technicalities of patent application procedures worldwide and the definition of the so-called patent priorities, there are several definitions of patent family (e.g. ‘simple’ patent families vs. ‘extended’ patent families). In this chapter, I adopt a conservative approach using the DOCDB family. This is considered one of the most restrictive ‘simple’ patent families that ensures that only patents covering the same invention are included in the family (see Martínez 2011 for a discussion).
 
3
For the sake of clarity, I decided to report in Fig. 1.2 the number of the patent application for those POP disclosed in at least 500 patent applications.
 
4
It is to note that POP-related inventions are prevalent in the “Manufacture of Pesticides and Other Agrochemical Products,” which justifies the choice of this industry as our benchmark in the analyses (i.e. the share of their industry of application based on NACE classification ranges from 44% to 69% in the case of 20.2 NACE class code).
 
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Metadata
Title
Geographical and Industrial Dynamics of Chemical Inventions: The Case of Persistent Organic Pollutants
Author
Gianluca Biggi
Copyright Year
2024
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-52689-3_1

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