Intellectual Property and Licensing Strategies in Open Collaborative Innovation

Protecting intellectual property and controlling the use of their inventions is key to the strategy of many firms. At the same time, in order to be successful in open collaborative innovation, firms need to share their knowledge with others. This chapter presents, for moderate specialists, some strategic considerations with respect to managing intellectual property in open collaborative innovation. The chapter discusses how licensing strategies can be employed to balance various goals in collaborative efforts to innovate. In particular, licensing of intellectual property is presented as a way to manage protected knowledge that is developed and shared in collaborative innovation. Different elementary licensing schemes are presented. Open collaborative innovation can then consist of various “modules” of elementary licenses. The chapter finally proposes a few distinct strategies for governing knowledge exchange in collaborative innovation, including open exchange and layered schemes, thereby outlining some conditions for successful open collaborative innovation.

Published as Ch. 3 in de Pablos Hevederos, C and López Berzosa,D. (eds): Open Innovation in Firms and Public Administrations: Technologies for Value Creation. Published by IGI Global, Hershey, USA, 2012.