IP strategies and policies for and against evergreening

Ove Granstrand, Chalmers University of Technology

Frank Tietze, University of Cambridge


Evergreening is the strategic extension of the duration of a temporary monopolistic or market dominant position by means of IP strategies, and in practice patent strategies particularly. This paper explores the evergreening phenomenon. After an introductory description of evergreening and its associated innovation and IP policy issues, the paper provides a literature review. We further present one case of the pharmaceutical blockbuster drug Losec (Omeprazol) that became the world’s best selling drug from 1996 to 2000. The case is accompanied by short evergreeing examples based on other IPRs such as trade marks. A theoretical part discusses different types of evergreening approaches along with simple models. The paper ends with a discussion of implications for managerial counter-strategies and innovation and IP policies.


Keywords: Intellectual property, patent management, evergreening literature review


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