Chapter 6: The politics of inventors
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The sixth chapter analyzes the political consequences of IPRs on the appropriation of inventions and creations by salaried employees or by other contractual workers. While the literature on patents relies on a simplified representation of R&D activities, it is important to take into account diverse forms of organizing innovation to study the attribution of IPRs between different actors. The chapter departs from the French model of regulating employees’ inventions to show its evolution from a “regime of secrecy” to a “regime of properties.” A statistical database of litigations (123 decisions from the 3rd Chamber of the Paris Judicial Court, 2000-2018) allows building a typology of cases disputed in the different world of production. If cases of expropriation are particularly important in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, other important examples of litigation are found in innovative SMEs where IP policies are less objectified and where the creators/founders seek to fully appropriate the inventions. The conclusion questions whether patent attorneys are not at the origin, as much as judges are, of much more generous corporate policies regarding additional, but individualized compensation.

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