A Handbook of Contemporary Research
Edited by Toshiko Takenaka
Chapter 2: Patents and Policies for Innovations and Entrepreneurship
1 Ove Granstrand 1 Introduction While few observers nowadays question the emergence of an ever more knowledge-based economy, the expression ‘the new economy’ can be questioned. What is ‘new’ is the fact that the economy has come to be dominated by intellectual capital in different forms (human, relational, intellectual property (IP) etc.) – together defined as non-physical, non-financial capital, which is related mainly to long-run accumulation of valuable knowledge – technical knowledge (i.e. technology) in particular (e.g. information and communication technologies), knowledge which is embedded in innovations launched by entrepreneurs, especially corporate entrepreneurs. At the same time, traditional capitalistic institutions have not only survived but become strengthened and globalized after the downfall of the Soviet empire. Intellectual property (IP) and legal rights to it (‘IPRs’) have consequently become much more important, and a new IP regime, including a ‘pro-patent era’, has developed since the 1980s, originating in the US. Its effects are pervasive at various levels, not least internationally. Countries and companies arm themselves with strengthened IP rights as competitive means, at present with the USA and Japan in the lead. Patent and IP issues, once obscure secondary questions for specialists, have thereby become strategic and risen to high levels of political and industrial management. On the other hand, there are difficulties in integrating these issues with other economic policies and company strategies – although these difficulties appear by and large to be temporary. A trend toward a more aggressive patenting policy can be expected in countries such as China, Taiwan and Korea,...
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