Title: Managing intellectual property in R&D alliances

Authors: Bing-Sheng Teng

Addresses: Department of Strategic Management and Public Policy, School of Business, George Washington University, 2115 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052, USA

Abstract: This paper deals with the management of Intellectual Property (IP) in R&D alliances, with a focus on two key IP types – patents and trade secrets. Since IP is both inputs to and outputs of R&D alliances, the key is to simultaneously achieve two objectives – IP protection and IP generation. As research inputs, IP could be devalued by partners| opportunistic learning. Thus, IP needs to be carefully selected and protected through mechanisms such as equity arrangement, non-disclosure and non-compete agreements, and monitoring and auditing. Meanwhile, the performance of R&D alliances is mostly measured by their IP outputs. Partner firms face new issues, such as IP classification and ownership. They must decide whether to patent or keep their R&D outputs confidential. In making IP ownership decisions, partners need to consider R&D outputs| potential as the firm|s core competencies and the risk of patent interference.

Keywords: intellectual property; R&D alliances; opportunistic learning; patents; trade secrets; organisational learning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2007.012434

International Journal of Technology Management, 2007 Vol.38 No.1/2, pp.160 - 177

Published online: 13 Feb 2007 *

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