Title: Intellectual property protection in collaborative innovation activities within services

Authors: Christiane Hipp, Ricarda B. Bouncken

Addresses: Brandenburg Technical University of Cottbus, Chair for Organisation, Human Resource Management and General Management, P.O. Box 10 13 44, 03013 Cottbus, Germany. ' Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University of Greifswald, Chair for Organisation, Human Resource Management, and Innovation, Friedrich-Loeffler-Str. 70, 17489 Greifswald, Germany

Abstract: The research was motivated by the growing importance of inter-firm collaboration within service innovation, which encompasses the risk of knowledge-spillovers particularly due to the intangible service output. The intangibility of most service innovation thwarts applications of formal legal intellectual property mechanisms. Our empirical study provides data that shows evidence of a direct link between innovation partnering and the use of a broad range of intellectual property practices within service-intensive companies. The results show that informal protection mechanisms partially compensate incomplete formal mechanisms and largely prevent imitation and uncontrolled knowledge-spillovers across the duration of the partnership.

Keywords: service innovation; collaboration; intellectual property management; patents; knowledge spillovers; services; intangible output; innovation partnering; intellectual property protection.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2009.025391

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2009 Vol.12 No.3, pp.273 - 296

Published online: 21 May 2009 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article