The evolution of patent functions: New trends, main challenges and implications for firm strategy
Recent publications in the field of Intellectual Property (IP) have shown that the previous literature did not grasp how complex patents are. The goal of this paper is to present an overview of all identified functions of patents and of the main strategic implications of such a complex picture. We first survey the main patent functions : innovation protection, functions related to trade and finance, defensive roles, and patent as an input in the innovation process. We then define each function and analyse their main evolution trends in relation with the current environment. We finally identify the strategic implications of each function. We focus on the implications of the newly identified functions and on the interaction between the different functions.
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