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Patents Emerging As New Source of Revenue (South Korea)

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

In recent years, South Korea has significantly increased the number of products it patents. Last year South Korea was the fourth-ranked country worldwide for patent applications with 368,000. The country's international patent applications also rose to fourth place with 5,935 in 2006. The government encourages long-term research and development by investing in nine sectors, including biotechnology and the environment. By doing so, it has increased the amount of research and development royalties coming into the country to $2.01 billion last year while lowering royalty payments paid to other nations. One company contributing to this trend is Genematrix, a biotech firm expected to earn $1.6 billion by the end of 2007. Ninety percent of that revenue comes from patents for medicines used to treat hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and gene analysis. Digital Biotech is another company riding Korea's research and development wave. In 2006, it sold technology used to manufacture alternative substances for painkillers for $48 billion to German drug-maker, Gruenenthal. In 2007, it received $11.6 billion by selling off similar technology. (Click here for more

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