A Handbook of Contemporary Research
Edited by Daniel J. Gervais
Chapter 9: A protocol to evaluate the impact of intellectual property on innovation outcomes
There have been numerous recent challenges to the structure of the domestic and global regimes that define and protect interests in intellectual property (IP). These include advances in technology, changes in product configuration and market structure, perceived evolution in innovation paradigms, and shifts in the perspectives of individuals and groups with respect to access to and use of products of the mind. While the need to address the delicate balance between the demands of those who have lent their hands, minds, talents and time to the creation of new works and those who desire access to the creative products has been an inherent attribute of most systems, there does appear to be current urgency to revisit the topic. Whatever the catalyst, consideration of the issues is very dynamic, and may, at times, be pressing and dramatic. Perhaps the forces most responsible for the debate are the overwhelming effect of technological advances and corollary changes in social norms. Technology has driven us into an era where economies often deal more with soft products (for example, information) than with tangible products. While traditional IP laws have offered some protection to expanding creative efforts, the adequacy and proper reach of global IP regimes remains at the heart of the current dialogue. As a result, it is essential to fully understand the present legal construct in order to reach a cogent decision about how, or whether, to affect any change.
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