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