The Structure of Intellectual Property Law
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The Structure of Intellectual Property Law

Can One Size Fit All?

Edited by Annette Kur and Vytautas Mizaras

This well-researched and highly topical book analyses whether the ever-increasing degree of sophistication in intellectual property law necessarily leads to fragmentation and inconsistency, or whether the common principles informing the system are sustainable enough to offer a solid and resilient framework for legal development.
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Chapter 5: Patents and Open Access in the Knowledge Economy

Ulf Petrusson


Ulf Petrusson* 1. INTRODUCTION1 This chapter discusses patents and the patent system in a knowledge economy, looking at the positive and negative consequences of patents for society, and asking the question: to what extent does it appear possible to build a patent system that serves its intended purpose of promoting both open access to technology and the creation and utilization of innovation, when the economy is changing. In doing so, I examine how the patent system supports the use and incorporation of patents into business and market constructions, and how this system interacts with and structures open access to technology, in the context of an economy that is no longer industrial but knowledge-based. Especially interesting is how the patent system interacts with open science, open innovation,2 distributed innovation3 and open technology platforms. Even though the debate on the contribution of patents per se, and of the patent system, to societal development and welfare is not in any way new, we can still argue that there is growing controversy over the role of the patent system in a knowledge economy.4 The advocates of the patent system in the industrial setting have argued that it is a crucial prerequisite * Professor at University of Gothenburg, Director of Department at Institute for Innovation and Enterpreneurship. 1 I would like to thank Henrik Rosen, Tobias Thornblad and Caroline Pamp for their help and contributions. 2 In the academic discussion, the concept of open innovation is very much introduced by Chesbrough, Henry (2003), Open Innovation:...

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