Capturing Value from IP in a Global Environment

by Juan Alcácer, Karin Beukel, and Bruno Cassiman

Overview — Challenges to capturing value from know-how and reputation through the use of different IP tools is an increasingly important matter of strategy for global enterprises. They will need to combine different institutional, market, and non-market mechanisms, but the precise combination of tools will depend on local and regional institutional and market conditions.

Author Abstract

This paper documents the strong growth in tools used by firms to protect their intellectual property (IP), develop their know-how, and build and maintain their reputation globally during the last decades. We focus on three tools: patents, trademarks, and industrial designs. We find that, although most IP applications come from a few countries (the United States, European Union, Japan, China, and South Korea), most growth in IP activity has come from middle-income countries, especially in Asia. We observe important differences in the origins of this growth. For example, while in India most applicants were foreign firms, in China most were local. However, most Indian innovations are also applied overseas, while Chinese innovations rarely made it out of China. Interestingly, growth in applications varies by IP tool, with industrial designs experiencing the most growth.

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