The Handbook of Innovation and Services
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The Handbook of Innovation and Services

A Multi-disciplinary Perspective

Edited by Faïz Gallouj and Faridah Djellal

This Handbook brings together 49 international specialists to address an issue of increasing importance for the world’s post-industrial economies; innovation as it relates to services.
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Chapter 15: Knowledge Regimes and Intellectual Property Protection in Services: A Conceptual Model and Empirical Testing

Knut Blind, Rinaldo Evangelista and Jeremy Howells


Knut Blind, Rinaldo Evangelista and Jeremy Howells1 15.1 Introduction Traditionally services have been seen as being technological backward, passive, non-innovative sectors. This was enough to justify the little interest or involvement shown by service firms with the issue of appropriability and intellectual property rights (IPR), with the exception of artistic and text-based rights. Data from, for example, the Community Innovation Survey (CIS) in Europe seem to confirm such a view, highlighting the limited use by service firms of the most traditional IPR tool, namely patents. Thus, in the Second CIS (CIS2) only 7 per cent of innovating companies in services during the period 1994–96 applied for at least one patent compared with a quarter of all innovating manufacturing companies and this does not appear to have changed for the Third Community Innovation Survey (CIS3) (Blind et al., 2003). These data are likely to provide a too narrow picture of the actual and potential relevance of the ‘appropriability’ issue in services. Recent studies show that patent activities are rapidly increasing in services. Patent applications at the European Patent Office by the top 50 European service companies grew from around 280 applications per annum in 1990 to almost 450 per annum in 1997 (Blind et al., 2003, 56). In any case patent statistics do not make justice of the increasing importance of the IPR issue outside the manufacturing sector. This is because of the highly heterogeneous nature of services, of the distinctive nature of ‘knowledge assets’ in this section of the...

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