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Intellectual property rights, strategy and policy

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  • Lee Davis

Abstract

This introductory essay to the special edition explores the changing role of intellectual property rights (IPRs), and the implications of these changes for firm strategy and industrial policy. Four recent, interrelated trends are important in this regard: (1) the growing prominence of intangible assets as sources of competitive advantage, (2) the globalization of business activities, (3) advances in digital technologies of replicability and transferability, and (4) changes in the legal framework governing the strength and scope of IPRs. We focus, in particular, on the impact of these trends on the importance and effectiveness of patents. We argue that while patents have become more valuable to firms, to fulfill a variety of strategic goals, they seem to have become less effective in actually motivating R&D. This distorts the 'bargain' implied by the patent system, increasing the social costs of patenting while decreasing the social benefits. To help restore this balance, various reforms may be implemented, including the use of alternative incentive systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee Davis, 2004. "Intellectual property rights, strategy and policy," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(5), pages 399-415.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:13:y:2004:i:5:p:399-415
    DOI: 10.1080/1043859042000188683
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ruzzier Mitja & Nagy Tine & Ravnihar Robert, 2009. "Analyzing the Process of Patent Submission with a Special Emphasis on the Phases of the Research Process - the Case of Slovenia," Organizacija, De Gruyter Open, vol. 42(5), pages 156-164, September.
    2. Nicole Ziegler & Frauke Ruether & Martin Bader & Oliver Gassmann, 2013. "Creating value through external intellectual property commercialization: a desorptive capacity view," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(6), pages 930-949, December.
    3. Alka Chadha & Åke Blomqvist, 2005. "Patent Races, “Me-Too” Drugs, and Generics: A Developing-World Perspective," Departmental Working Papers wp0513, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics.
    4. Keupp, Marcus Matthias & Friesike, Sascha & von Zedtwitz, Maximilian, 2012. "How do foreign firms patent in emerging economies with weak appropriability regimes? Archetypes and motives," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1422-1439.
    5. Lee Davis, 2006. "Licensing Strategies of the Enterprising - but Vulnerable - "Intellectual Property" Vendors," DRUID Working Papers 06-12, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    6. Kanwar, Sunil, 2007. "Intellectual Property Protection and Technology Transfer: Evidence From US Multinationals," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt606508js, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.

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