Published as Chapter 3 in Takenaka, T.: Patent Law and Theory – A Handbook of Contemporary Research, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2nd edition, 2019.
With the growing dominance of intellectual capital in the global economy, intellectual property rights (‘IPRs’) have become increasingly important. A pro-patent era has developed since the 1980s, as countries and companies arm themselves with strengthened IPRs as competitive means in order to secure new technologies. This calls into question the linkages between R&D, new technologies, IP, innovations, entrepreneurship and economic performance, which turn out to be connected in a spiraling manner. The chapter discusses the properties of this innovation spiral as well as the economic motives for the patent system and its accompanying governance challenges in today’s world of intellectual capitalism. Furthermore, results from empirical studies of Sweden are presented, which might provide an interesting case for other countries as Sweden has consistently ranked high in international comparisons regarding several of the innovation spiral variables. Drawing from these studies the chapter concludes with a set of general and specific patent and innovation policy recommendations