Background: This paper examines nanotechnology patents in Mexico to gain some insights
into: a) the growth of patents over the last twenty years; b) the distribution of assignee patents between
private and public institutions; b) the economic sectors engaged in nanotechnology R&D; and, c)
whether R&D is oriented to basic research or more applied science and engineering.
Method: The present research employs the DG concordance system. This approach establishes a procedure
to match patents according to their potential use in economic sectors. The research incorporates
a two-stage approach, each involving a different method: capturing basic information from Mexican
nanotechnology patents; and, establishing concordance with economic sectors.
Results: 217 patents were identified; 153 were analyzed. Private companies and individuals registered
30 %. The largest concentration (41%) is found in the economic sector “Manufacture of Chemicals and
Chemical Products”. Most patents are located in basic research. There are virtually no patents related to
the final place in the value chain (final products) or to nanotechnology instruments.
Conclusion: The article provides an overview of nanotechnology in Mexico in terms of quantity and
institutional allocation of patents; also with the economic sectors with which they are associated, and
the relation with the place in a value chain. Patent concentration in public academic institutions suggests
a lack of nanotechnology research and development capacity in firms. Most patents are related to
electronics, an economic sector with significant development in the country.