Intellectual Property and Licensing Strategies in Open Collaborative Innovation

Intellectual Property and Licensing Strategies in Open Collaborative Innovation

Marcel Bogers (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark), Rudi Bekkers (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands) and Ove Granstrand (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2136-7.ch059
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Protecting intellectual property and controlling the use of their inventions is key to the strategy of many firms. At the same time, in order to be successful in open collaborative innovation, firms need to share their knowledge with others. This chapter presents, for moderate specialists, some strategic considerations with respect to managing intellectual property in open collaborative innovation. The chapter discusses how licensing strategies can be employed to balance various goals in collaborative efforts to innovate. In particular, licensing of intellectual property is presented as a way to manage protected knowledge that is developed and shared in collaborative innovation. Different elementary licensing schemes are presented. Open collaborative innovation can then consist of various “modules” of elementary licenses. The chapter finally proposes a few distinct strategies for governing knowledge exchange in collaborative innovation, including open exchange and layered schemes, thereby outlining some conditions for successful open collaborative innovation.
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Knowledge Protection And Intellectual Property

As open innovation in general and collaborative innovation in particular have increased in both extent and importance, protecting the knowledge that is being shared has become an increasingly important but also challenging issue for the innovating organizations. There are several trends that exemplify the growing importance of knowledge protection in general. For example, the growing importance of IP can be seen in the increasing number of patent applications (Granstrand, 2000; Grindley & Teece, 1997). That is, the rise of a “pro-IP era” or “pro-patent era” (Granstrand, 2000; Jaffe, 2000) has lead to an increasing propensity for firms to file patents (e.g. Grindley & Teece, 1997)—now often considered as being a firm’s “crown jewels” among its assets, especially in high-technology industries (e.g. Coriat & Orsi, 2002). As a result, this raises the importance of intellectual capitalism (IC) (see e.g. Gerlach, 1992; Teece, 2000) in general and IP/IC management in particular (Arora, et al., 2001; Chesbrough, 2003b).

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