Technology Transfer Offices, Incubators, and Intellectual Property Management

Paper presented at the 76th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Anaheim, USA.

In this paper we present a systematic literature review of the intersection between intellectual property (IP) management, technology transfer offices (TTOs) and incubators (and to some degree also science parks) in order to find out how incubators and/or TTOs support and work with patenting and IP management in startups. IP management is an important issue for the competitiveness of technology based startups and a difficult issue due to the resources needed to obtain, monitor and enforce IP rights. Understanding how the support organizations facilitate this work is therefore of importance for the startups as well as for universities and policy actors seeking to support technology transfer. The identified publications were systematized according to the actor in focus and whether the paper discussed IP as an output or as a strategic focus. The literature review showed that this literature tends to adopt a simplistic view of IP management, not taking all strategies into account. The literature typically narrows the focus down to a simplistic view of trying to increase the patent output of TTOs and incubators, and the related firms and/or universities.

Keywords: Intellectual property right; Intellectual property management; Technology transfer office; Incubator; Science park; Innovation; University; Entrepreneurship