The chemical industry today


Cartel_Mesa redonda_Industria Quimica_UAM_060214

This is the title of a round table to be held this week at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, but I am referring below to the Spanish chemical industry:

We can find Repsol S.A., Compañía Española de Petróleos (Cepsa), Ercross S.A., Bayer España, Pfizer España, Air Liquide España and some others among the biggest chemical companies in Spain. None of them is to be found among the 50 entities with more Spanish patent applications filed with the Spanish Patent Office (SPO) in 2012 (data from Statistics 2012, SPO) and I am afraid that the same happened in 2013!.  Despite the crisis and the situation of the Spanish universities, these organisms (with exception made of the National Research Council (CSIC)) continued to occupy the first positions with regard to the number of patent applications deposited in Spain as first filings. It is true that at least the public universities do not need to pay official fees in our country. But even though, most part of these filings will remain Spanish applications / Spanish patents, or at the most PCTs if there is not a company interested thereon, because the universities do not have financial resources  for protecting the inventions abroad. Many out of more than 3000 chemical companies in Spain will not take advantage from the technological offer that is published in patent databases, many others are not aware of the possibilty of divulging (and offering) their own technological developments through patent applications, and other companies will suffer both drawbacks.

Under these circumstances Saint-Éxupéry would have rather said: Loving is just looking at each other, not looking in the same direction!.