The Management of Intellectual Property

The Management of Intellectual Property

New Horizons in Intellectual Property series

Edited by Derek Bosworth and Elizabeth Webster

This book brings together innovative contributions on the management of intellectual property (IP) and intellectual property rights by an esteemed and multi-disciplinary group of economists, management scientists, accountants and lawyers.

Chapter 4: A Management Perspective

Laurie Hunter

Subjects: business and management, knowledge management, economics and finance, intellectual property, innovation and technology, knowledge management, law - academic, intellectual property law


Laurie Hunter 1 INTRODUCTION It is only in the last 20 years or so that the role of intangible assets has begun to be seriously addressed in the business management literature, although some specific forms of intellectual capital such as patents, trademarks and brands have long been recognized as significant contributors to corporate value creation. What has changed is the growing recognition that intellectual capital is a component of a broader range of intangible assets, whose development and management is critical to the competitive capabilities of an increasing proportion of contemporary businesses (Kay 2000). The reason for this new recognition will be examined in more detail later in this chapter, but for the moment it is enough to note that many of the familiar and traditional sources of differentiation among competitors have been neutralized by the emerging globalization of trade and developments in information technology and communication (Quah 2001; Teece 1998). Geographical advantages have been diminished, distinctions between products have been blurred and many new market areas have been created. These trends, in turn, have enhanced the importance of intangible assets as a source of differentiation and competitive advantage because they are much more difficult to imitate and transfer. They have thus moved centre stage as a vital factor in competitive rivalry in many sectors of business. The relative novelty of systematic analysis of intangibles means that, as with any new area of knowledge, there is some lack of commonly agreed definitions, concepts and taxonomy. Likewise,...

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