Global interdependence of collaborative R&D-typology and association of international co-patenting

Hsin-Ning Su*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Economic globalization implies a growing interdependence of resources across countries. Technological R&D and cross-border collaboration are often identified as the primary driving forces in the process. This study aims to holistically analyze global landscape of international collaboration and identify influential countries and the interdependencies among countries. A total of 458,381 international patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) from 1976 to 2013 are analyzed and the structure of international collaboration network is created. It is found that highly developed and small countries usually show a higher degree of internationalization. However, emerging countries such as China present high collaborative influences. The highly skewed collaboration distribution indicates significant inequality of internationalization, which is indeed a hurdle to a country's technological mobility. It can be observed that most pairs of interdependent countries are neighboring or even bordering countries because of their similar historical, linguistic and cultural heritages. Several contributions of this study are summarized as follows: (1) this study first proposes the II, IA, II-IA, IA-AA, and II-IA-AA system for classifying international patent; (2) all international patents (38-year time span) from USPTO are examined without sampling; (3) association rule mining is used to evaluate the interdependency of international collaboration; and (4) network structures illustrating 38 years international co-patenting are visually presented.

Original languageEnglish
Article number541
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number4
StatePublished - 4 Apr 2017


  • Association rule mining
  • Co-patenting
  • Global interdependence
  • International collaboration

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