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Breakthrough technologies - Robotics, innovation and intellectual property

Author

Listed:
  • Andrew Keisner

    (Attorney, Davis & Gilbert LLP, New York, New York, U.S.A)

  • Julio Raffo

    (Economics and Statistics Division, World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.)

  • Sacha Wunsch-Vincent

    (Economics and Statistics Division, World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.)

Abstract

Robotics technology and the increasing sophistication of artificial intelligence are breakthrough innovations with significant growth prospects and the potential to disrupt existing economic and social facets of everyday life. Few studies have analyzed the developments of robotics innovation. This paper closes this gap by analyzing how innovation in robotics is taking place, how it diffuses, and what role intellectual property (IP) plays. The paper finds that robotics clusters are mainly located in the US, Europe, but increasingly also in the Republic of Korea and China. The robotics innovation ecosystem builds on cooperative networks of actors, including individuals, research institutions, and firms. Governments play a significant role in supporting robotics innovation, in particular through funding, military demand, and national robotics strategies. Robotics competitions and prizes provide for an important incentive to innovation. Patents are used to exclude third parties, to secure freedom to operate, to license technologies and to avoid litigation. The countries with the highest number of filings are Japan, China, Republic of Korea and the US. The growing stock of patents owned by universities and PROs, in particular in China, is noteworthy too. Automotive and electronics companies are still the largest patent filers, but new actors in fields such as medical technologies and the Internet are emerging. Secrecy is often used as a tool to appropriate innovation. Copyright protection is relevant to robotics too, mainly in its role in protecting software, and more recently in protecting so-called Netlists. Finally, proprietary approaches co-exist with open-source robotics platforms which are developing rapidly in robotics clusters.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Keisner & Julio Raffo & Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, 2015. "Breakthrough technologies - Robotics, innovation and intellectual property," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers 30, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division.
  • Handle: RePEc:wip:wpaper:30
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Frey, Carl Benedikt & Osborne, Michael A., 2017. "The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 254-280.
    2. Kumaresan, Nageswaran & Miyazaki, Kumiko, 1999. "An integrated network approach to systems of innovation--the case of robotics in Japan," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 563-585, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew Keisner & Julio Raffo & Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, 2016. "Robotics: Breakthrough Technologies, Innovation, Intellectual Property," Foresight-Russia Форсайт, CyberLeninka;Федеральное государственное автономное образовательное учреждение высшего образования «Национальный исследовательский университет «Высшая школа экономики», vol. 10(2 (eng)), pages 7-27.
    2. Estolatan, Eric & Geuna, Aldo & Guerzoni, Marco & Massimiliano Nuccio,, 2018. "Mapping the Evolution of the Robotics Industry: A cross country comparison," 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 201805, University of Turin.
    3. Van Roy, Vincent & Vertesy, Daniel & Damioli, Giacomo, 2019. "AI and Robotics Innovation: a Sectoral and Geographical Mapping using Patent Data," GLO Discussion Paper Series 433, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Giacomo Damioli & Vincent Van Roy & Daniel Vertesy, 2021. "The impact of artificial intelligence on labor productivity," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 11(1), pages 1-25, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Robotics; artificial intelligence; innovation; patents; trade secrets; copyrights.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing

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