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The Management of Intellectual Property

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.
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Chapter 10: Intellectual Property and Company Performance: Company Case Study Evidence

Derek Bosworth


Derek Bosworth 1 INTRODUCTION It is generally recognized that IP only gives competitive advantage if it is not also used by rivals. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, most of which, perhaps with the exception of speed to market, involve IPRs.1 These IPRs take many forms: patent protection for inventions, trademark (TM) protection for brands, trade secrets for in-house knowledge enabling faster speed to market, and so on. Essentially, their aim is to protect the discretionary investments of individuals and companies in various creative activities (that is, R&D, marketing, design, composition, and so on), enabling them to recoup their investment expenditures. It is argued that the absence of IPRs would reduce if not eliminate the incentives for creative activity, for example, reducing the flow of inventions, and thereby adversely affecting the dynamic performance of companies. This chapter takes the IPR system as it currently stands and explores how IPRs can be used by companies to improve their dynamic performance. It illustrates the main points using examples taken from a large number of individual case studies. The case study literature is quite distinct from the econometric estimates. Not only do the two approaches use different methods and data (for example, individual, often in-depth interviews versus large-scale data interrogated using econometric methods), they also have very different foci. The case study evidence, taken in the round, is able to offer a much broader perspective, and can be used to add some flesh to the bones provided by the...

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