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Intellectual Property Rights

Innovation, Governance and the Institutional Environment

Edited by Birgitte Andersen

Intellectual Property Rights is cutting edge in addressing current debates affecting businesses, industry sectors and society today, and in focusing not only on the enabling welfare effects of IPR systems, but also on some of the possible adverse effects of IPR systems.
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Chapter 6: Knowledge Spillovers from the Patenting Process

Jesper Lindgaard Christensen


Jesper Lindgaard Christensen ABSTRACT This chapter highlights and investigates potential knowledge spillovers from a patent office. It furthermore discusses if such spillovers are localized within the nation. It researches if the interaction between the applicant firms and the patent office, in this case the Danish Patent and Trademark Office (DKPTO), adds to the general competence of both parties. In turn, this may have positive long-term effects on the ability of the firms to innovate and use the intellectual property rights (IPR) system. Patent offices are often regarded as performing relatively standardized processing of applications without much interaction with other parties in the innovation system. On the contrary, the research reveals that the DKPTO not only grants patents and sells business services, but also has a complementary role as a knowledge-diffusing organization. A survey was implemented to explore this role in the innovation system further. The general impact of the DKPTO on knowledge diffusion is, according to the survey, primarily to increase the awareness of IPR among firms and to bring together the IPR branch by constituting a central focus point for common interests. Additionally, the DKPTO serves a role in facilitating easy access to the patent system for firms by lowering the cultural and linguistic barriers of IPR protection. Moreover, the DKPTO educates patent engineers who after a period in the DKPTO are employed in other organizations. The role of the DKPTO in terms of stimulating innovation directly is modest, but the above-mentioned complementary functions are...

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