Multinational technology and intellectual property management – Is there global convergence and/or specialisation?

The paper gives various indications of market and technology diversification as well as of global market and technology convergence (rather than specialisation) in the context of managerial, legal and economic convergence. The results show that different countries focus on a wider but increasingly similar set of markets for R&D outputs in form of patents, which implies increasing intra-national market diversification and inter-national market convergence. The results also show that different countries focus on a wider but increasingly similar set of technologies that are patented, which implies increasing intra-national technology diversification and inter-national technology convergence. In addition, intellectual property (IP) legal convergence takes place as newly industrialised countries (NICs) have strengthened their IP regimes in compliance with TRIPS and subsequently do so in the context of their indigenous innovation policies. Asian NICs have significantly increased their international patenting and supply of patented inventions. Altogether, this puts new demands across countries on multinational technology and innovation management skills, and in particular multinational IP management skills.

Keywords: Technology convergence; market convergence; revealed technological advantage; revealed market advantage; technological specialisation; market specialisation; diversification; patent statistics; technology management; intellectual property management; intellectual property regime; internationalisation; catch-up

Published in International Journal of Technology Management, Vol. 64, Nos. 2/3/4, pp. 117-147.