The patent management trichotomy: patenting, publishing, and secrecy

Marcus Holgersson (Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden) (Haas School of Business, Institute for Business Innovation, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA)
Martin W. Wallin (Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Extant research and practice of patent management are often occupied with how to best utilize patenting as a source of competitive advantage. The purpose of this paper is to suggest a patent management trichotomy where firms make strategic decisions between patenting, publishing, and secrecy.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is conceptual in nature and draws on received IP management literature to develop an analytical framework.

Findings

The authors suggest that the choice between patenting, publishing, and secrecy can be understood in terms of differences in the degree to which the firm can appropriate value from the invention and the degree to which it can operate freely.

Originality/value

Through an analysis along the dimensions of direct and indirect appropriation as well as static and dynamic freedom to operate, the paper conceptualizes the choice between patenting, publishing, and secrecy in a way useful for managers as well as for academics.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Jan Wallanders och Tom Hedelius stiftelse under Grant W2013-0063:1; Barbro Oshers Pro Suecia Foundation; and Familjen Knut och Ragnvi Jacobssons stiftelse. The authors thank two anonymous reviewers and the special issue editors for their helpful comments.

Citation

Holgersson, M. and Wallin, M.W. (2017), "The patent management trichotomy: patenting, publishing, and secrecy", Management Decision, Vol. 55 No. 6, pp. 1087-1099. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-03-2016-0172

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below

You may be able to access this content by logging in via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.
If you think you should have access to this content, click the button to contact our support team.