The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation
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The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation

Edited by Harald Bathelt, Patrick Cohendet, Sebastian Henn and Laurent Simon

This unique Companion provides a comprehensive overview and critical evaluation of existing conceptualizations and new developments in innovation research. It draws on multiple perspectives of innovation, knowledge and creativity from economics, geography, history, management, political science and sociology. The Companion brings together leading scholars to reflect upon innovation as a concept (Part I), innovation and institutions (Part II), innovation and creativity (Part III), innovation, networking and communities (Part IV), innovation in permanent spatial settings (Part V), innovation in temporary, virtual and open settings (Part VI), innovation, entrepreneurship and market making (Part VII), and the governance and management of innovation (Part VIII).
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Chapter 12: Patents and open innovation

Julien Pénin


In this chapter, which reviews some of the most recent literature about patents, we depart from the “second-best” approach that views patents as instruments solely dedicated to exclusion and to restoring appropriation. We instead present a vision of patents as structuring elements of open innovation; this is to say as instruments which help coordination between actors of the innovation process. This also leads us to focus on the problems that patents may induce for open innovation such as anti-commons, trolling (hold-up) or high transaction costs in sequential innovation. We conclude by discussing how to transform patent laws in a way that could limit these problems and thus make patents supportative of open innovation.

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