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Universities look beyond the patent policy discourse in their intellectual property strategies

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In recent years, much emphasis has been placed in the policy discourse on the patenting of academic research outcomes. However, universities produce a wide variety of IP, not all of which is suitable to be patented, or which universities may choose not to patent. The present article, building upon an original survey of 46 universities (about 27% of total) in the United Kingdom, investigates universities’ knowledge transfer processes through the exchange of a variety of forms of IP: patents, copyright, open source and non-patented innovations. The analysis concerns: (i) the extent to which universities exchange these forms of IP; (ii) whether they are used in a complementary or substitute way; and how relatively (iii) strategic effective and (iv) market efficient they are, in allowing universities to reach certain objectives (relating to knowledge transfer, competitive positioning, innovation and financial gain). We find that most universities perceive a variety of types of IP to be effective, usually in order to reach different strategic objectives. Certain forms of IP are use more than others for particular purposes, and no IP exchanges in the marketplace are exempt from institutional problems. Our results challenge the Bayh-Dole Act (now adopted in many OECD countries and elsewhere); i.e. whether patents and patent markets are the best tool for knowledge dissemination from research base into use, and other benefits, and whether instead it would be more appropriate to encourage universities to a variety of IP

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Paper provided by University of Turin in its series Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio Carlo Alberto. WP series with number 201017.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Handle: RePEc:uto:labeco:201017
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