The purpose of this paper is to highlight the main Intellectual Property (IP) protection strategies adopted in the R&D phases of a company operating in the bio-pharmaceutical industry, according to an open innovation (OI) approach.
In order to assess how R&D intensive firms adopt IP strategies during OI practices, this research uses a single case-study design. The case has been studied over an extended period of time (from 2008 to 2015), triangulating data and information by means of multiple interviews with different key informants and projects documents. The novelty of the research justifies the use of a single case study.
The study reveals how a mix of formal and informal tools for IP protection are used, with a final attempt to maintain control over different technological solutions during their validation process and profiting from stable R&D collaborations with research partners.
Limitations of the study relate to the single case study methodology as well as to some peculiarities of the analyzed company and of the Bio-Pharmaceutical industry.
Research managers could find some food for thought in the adoption of OI approaches for reducing costs and risks associated with technological uncertainty, with particular attention to the strategic role of IP rights.
Despite knowledge protection being widely recognized to be a critical issue for implementing OI approaches, how IP strategies should be used in the different phases of R&D is still debatable. Moreover, few empirical studies relate to the adoption of optimal combinations of IP tools in relation to the different R&D phases in such technology intensive industries as the bio-pharmaceutical industry.
Toma, A., Secundo, G. and Passiante, G. (2018), "Open innovation and intellectual property strategies: Empirical evidence from a bio-pharmaceutical case study", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 501-516. https://doi.org/10.1108/BPMJ-11-2016-0230Download as .RIS
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