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Intellectual property governance and knowledge creation in UK universities

Andersen, Birgitte and Rossi, Federica (2011) Intellectual property governance and knowledge creation in UK universities. Economics of Innovation and New Technology 20 (8), pp. 701-725. ISSN 1043-8599.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10438599.2010.526311

Abstract

The public discourse advocating increased patenting of academic discoveries, which has led to the approval of legislative measures (such as the Bayh–Dole Act, which is now adopted world-wide in various forms) is based on a set of theoretical arguments, mainly related to knowledge transfer and financial reward. Using an original survey of 46 universities (about 27%) in the UK, we investigate whether some of these arguments are supported by evidence. We focus on the extent to which patents, as opposed to other forms of intellectual property (IP) protection mechanisms, enhance knowledge circulation, and especially contribute to universities’ own knowledge creation processes. We also investigate whether universities consider the markets for ideas and creative expressions to function efficiently. We find that universities use all forms of IP intensively in order to transfer their knowledge to the industry or the government. However, they mainly rely on non-proprietary IP (open-source and no-patent strategies) when aiming to enhance their own knowledge-creation processes. Also, universities do not find that markets for patents or copyrights function more smoothly than non-proprietary IP marketplaces. The results challenge the orthodox theories on the rationales for patents and other proprietary IP rights. Thus, we question the assumptions and arguments underpinning the implementation of patents on academic research outcomes via political reforms since the 1980s.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): universities, knowledge creation, intellectual property governance, academic patenting, copyright, open source, Bayh–Dole Act
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Business, Economics & Informatics > Management
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2012 13:41
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/5886

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