Edited by Derek Bosworth and Elizabeth Webster
Chapter 12: Understanding the Patenting Behaviour of Firms
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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