Intellectual Property Commercialization

Intellectual Property Commercialization

Policy Options and Practical Instruments You do not have access to this content

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07 Mar 2013
9789210551595 (PDF)

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Innovation is the key driver of economic growth and development. A well-balanced, affordable and reliable system of intellectual property rights is needed to protect the — often large and highly risky — investments of innovative and creative companies against potential imitators and thereby provide key incentives to undertake such investments in the first place. Countries with economies in transition face particular challenges to integrate into global production networks and to find their own niche in the increasingly global value chains. This publication discusses intellectual property management and focuses on the challenges that research organizations and small/medium enterprises face in using the intellectual property system, particularly in transition countries, and on the policy options available to support them.
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  • Foreword
    Innovation is the key driver of economic growth and development in the medium to long term. It can be defined as the process of introducing new products, services and production processes into the market place and to create new profitable enterprises and higher-paying jobs on this basis. A well-balanced, affordable and reliable system of intellectual property rights has an important role to play in this process. Intellectual property rights serve to protect the - often large and highly risky - investments of innovative and creative companies against potential imitators and thereby provide key incentives to undertake such investments in the first place.
  • Acknowledgements
    This publication is part of the Programme of Work of the UNECE Subprogramme on Economic Cooperation and Integration in the focus area “Commercialization and Enforcement of Intellectual Property”. It would not have been possible without the guidance, inputs and comments of the bureau and members of the UNECE Team of Specialists on Intellectual Property.
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction
    Intellectual property is a key concern in the quest for growth, development and competitiveness. Advancement in knowledge broadly conceived is a key driver of economic prosperity in the twenty-first century. The ongoing revolution in information and communication technologies (ICT) has dramatically reduced the costs of creating, processing and transmitting knowledge, both nationally and across borders. The pace of innovation has accelerated significantly. These twin developments, of closer international economic integration and more rapid innovation, create new challenges for IP regimes and policymaking.
  • Intellectual property and economic performance
    In the medium to long term, innovation is the main driving force of economic growth in leading economies. Other possible sources of economic growth, such as bringing a larger share of the population into employment, installing more machinery and equipment of a given vintage, or using more of the country’s land, eventually fizzle out because of the law of diminishing returns: the additional output that can be generated by employing an additional person, or by deploying an additional machine of a given vintage, will grow smaller and smaller, the more people are already employed, or the more machines are already in use, until eventually the costs of using more human resources or more capital exceed the benefits.
  • Commercialization of intellectual assets
    This chapter explains the commercialization process and the role of IPRs in that process. Intellectual property may be commercialized by sale or assignment, or by entering into various types of contractual business relationships such as licensing. The business vehicle by which this is done may be by way of partnership, joint venture or spin-off company. IPRs play a crucial role as the legal vehicle through which either the transfer of knowledge or the contractual relationship is effected. Alternatively, knowledge may be exploited in-house, in which case the role of IPRs is to block imitating competition.
  • Creating an enabling environment for the transfer of technology from research institutions to the business sector
    Historians of science tell us that we are witnessing ‘a paradigm shift’ in the way companies and public research organizations (PROs) commercialize knowledge. Likewise, innovation research indicates that the way we innovate or take new ideas to market is undergoing a fundamental change from a model of closed innovation to one of open innovation. Whereas the former model was directed by the notion that in order to prevent competitors profiting from its ideas, an organization must have full control of its intellectual property, the open model is built on the notion that organizations can benefit from others’ use of their intellectual property, and they should buy or license others’ intellectual property whenever it advances their own business model.
  • IP commercialization strategies for entrepreneurs and SMEs
    Empirical data show that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent over 90 % of businesses in most countries worldwide. SMEs also typically account for a large share of overall employment, often over 60 %. On average, however, SMEs are neither very dynamic, nor very productive or innovative. And they are not very active users of the intellectual property system.
  • Intellectual property audits, accounting and valuation
    Today, it is widely recognized that intellectual property assets are a primary source of value-added growth and competitive advantage for the business sector. This recognition that the value of a commercial enterprise resides in an organization’s intellectual property is a result of the shift in corporate composition from physical-capital intensive sectors towards knowledge-based industries including R&D activities, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and telecommunications equipment, whose value is in intangibles. Governments, public research organizations, and innovative businesses are therefore working to connect R&D more explicitly to their commercial strategies and break down the cultural barriers that have historically existed between the science laboratories and the business sector, with a view to ensuring that research efforts result in intellectual property that is capable of commercialization.
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