Innovation and Intellectual Property
Traditionally, IP (Intellectual Property) has often been often associated with the protection of technology through intellectual property rights, such as patents. This perception has changed radically for many industries but also society as a whole in the last decades, not the least with the emergence of the knowledge based and innovation driven economies.
Employing predominately a problem driven research approach, building on engineering research principles, we are committed to contributing to developing the future of effective IP and innovation management. As integral part of the Centre for Technology Management, the IIPM lab takes an engineering management (firm level) and relational perspective on IP within distributed and collaborative (open) innovation processes for emerging (manufacturing) technologies.
For our research we distinguish between (1) registerable formal IP (e.g. patents, design rights, trademarks), (2) unregistered formal IP (e.g. copyright, design rights in some jurisdictions) and (3) unregisterable informal IP (e.g. data, trade secrets, know how). While there is a bit of a focus on patents often being the most important intellectual property right (IPR) for technology-based firms, we take a broad perspective even though that makes research sometimes more challenging.
Our research on Innovation and IP Management (IIPM) focuses on two priority areas:
1. Strategic IP management for effective innovation processes
We focus on IP issues that are of strategic relevance for technology-based firms, e.g. within R&D activities, innovation processes but also in corporate strategy and decision making. Our research focuses on IP management in the context of emerging technologies. For instance, we look into open IP strategies, such as patent pledges, for establishing standards as well as IP based business models.
2. New technologies for reinventing IP management
Technologies underpinning IP management have changed drastically over the recent decades with patent data being digitized and the continous development of increasingly sophisticated software solutions for analyzing and visualizing IP data. We however believe that this has just been the beginning and we are a tipping point for how IP management is being handled. Technologies such as AI, deep and machine learning have been adopted in other domains already to a much more sophisticated level that for IP analytics. Technologies, such as blockchain (and distributed ledger technologies) may contribute to digitization of licensing transactions and the automation of complex royalty payment streams. We are interested to better understand the business cases for those and other technologies and contribute to the development of such solutions that help to "reinvent" IP management.