Intellectual Property Rights and Market Dynamics
Two opposite models are currently operating in the modern economy, the strong intellectual property rights (IPR) model, and the open source/open science model. They have traditionally been applied to alternative institutional contexts. The strong IPR model has been associated to the business environment, while the open science model has been associated to the academic or research system. More recently, a strengthening of the IPR system has occurred in the public research system, and open science models have been adopted in private sectors like the open source software. This paper discusses these different models and their implications on the innovative activity of firms and economies, and the market dynamics. One of the main benefits deriving from a strong IPR system is that it encourages the entry of new technology-based firms and the commercialisation of technologies in markets for technologies. At the same time, an increased patent protection is also associated to potential costs, such as those arising from a excessive fragmentation of property rights, an abuse of patent protection for strategic reasons (sleeping and blocking patents), and an increase in litigation costs.
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