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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 12: Understanding the Patenting Behaviour of Firms

Carine Peeters and Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie


Carine Peeters and Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie 1 INTRODUCTION The present book is about intellectual property (IP), ‘once considered the most boring subject in the world’ (Rivette and Kline 2000, p. 1). The authors of Rembrandts in the Attic demonstrate that the ownership of ideas is now becoming part of the day-to-day business life, policy debates and legal arguments. Publications on the strategic management of intellectual property (IP) have indeed recently flourished (for example, Glazier 2000; Parr and Sullivan 1996), together with a vast economic literature, with both theoretical and empirical contributions. This chapter aims at contributing to the literature dedicated to the identification of the factors underlying the large variance observed across firms in terms of patenting behaviour. The theoretical framework suggests that a firm’s patenting behaviour is determined by three types of factors. The first concerns the innovation strategy of a firm and its general attitude towards intellectual property. The second is related to the perceived barriers to innovation and to patenting. The third takes into account firm- and sector-specific characteristics, such as size, age and market structure. Several concepts and relations discussed in this chapter have already been highlighted by a number of authors. However, this chapter adds to the existing literature in the sense that it identifies new potential explanatory factors of a firm’s patenting behaviour. It includes these determinants from an integrated perspective, putting together different concepts that are generally addressed in separate pieces of research. An original survey database of...

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