Title: Management of remanufacturing - strategic challenges from intellectual property rights

Authors: Maria Elo; Tuomo Kareila

Addresses: Department of Marketing and International Business, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, FI-20014 Turun Yliopisto, Turku, Finland ' Law Firm Tuomo Kareila, Maariankatu 6 b, 4th Floor, FI-20100 Turku, Finland

Abstract: Remanufacturing is a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to virgin material-based manufacturing processes. A product is disassembled, cleaned, repaired and reassembled to function as new, which links to end-of-life strategies. Considered to be the ultimate form of recycling and a source of new international business opportunities, the concept involves not only manufacturing and technological challenges but also managerial and strategic challenges due to complexity and intellectual property rights (IPR) implications. Remanufacturing is often embedded in a web of international activities interlinked across various legal domains, creating ambiguity for IPR. This study is the first to assess IPR implications regarding strategic management of remanufacturing, especially from a global perspective. It combines a meta-analysis of court decisions with qualitative analysis of expert interviews, providing an analytical framework for management challenges related to remanufacturing strategy, operations and IPR. The study contributes a remanufacturer typology and implications for operations and marketing, and provides a conceptual tool for management.

Keywords: remanufacturing; manufacturing management; intellectual property rights; IPR; strategic management; automotive parts; recycling; court decisions; manufacturing strategy; automotive components.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMTM.2014.066706

International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management, 2014 Vol.28 No.4/5/6, pp.306 - 335

Received: 02 Jan 2014
Accepted: 04 Jul 2014

Published online: 01 Jan 2015 *

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