Strategies for Intellectual Property in Transformative Industries
Examensarbete på kandidatnivå
Problem As industries’ underlying technology alters, so does the needs of their IP strategy. This thesis investigates how firms in transformative industries adapt their IP strategies as the core technologies of their industry alters. Purpose The purpose of this thesis is to explore the usage of IP strategies in transformative industries and how rapid technological changes alter IP strategies. Research Methodology Academics and IP professionals have been interviewed and provided a framework for contemporary IP strategies to conceptualize the transition of industries. Through a case study of the automotive industry on the Swedish west coast, which is currently undergoing a rapid shift of electrification and automation, new challenges to IP strategy are unveiled. Interviews were held with key players of the automotive industry, and a quantitative patent analysis was performed. Theoretical Grounding IP strategy refers to the management of IPRs and the utilization of IP as a tool to manage technology within a firm. This thesis investigates the management of patents and other IPRs, and how they relate to business and innovation strategy. As industries become more software- and data-driven, the importance of IP increases and becomes a source of revenue through licensing and litigation, and innovation through facilitating collaboration. Results and Implications Research showed that firms are initiating renewal of their IP strategies but finding the transition of the IP culture cumbersome. These difficulties were observed to pose a hindrance to innovation. The innovation has not occurred in the types of IPRs used and patents remain the most important. However, they have evolved in their usage. IPRs have gained more strategic dimensions, especially patents. Changing the culture associated with IP was found to be challenging. However, companies that hired talent from outside of Sweden gave the IP department a more significant presence in the firm's management and/or spun off a part of its operation have progressed towards a more innovative IP strategy.
Intellectual Property , Intellectual Property Rights , IP Strategy , Innovation , Technological Shifts , Automotive Industry , Patent Usage