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Little is known about how small internationalized firms (‘born
globals’) protect and appropriate rents from their
intellectual property (IP) in born globals. Moreover, conflicting
predictions exist as to how this protection should be implemented.
Therefore, in this book chapter we analyse the strategies born
global firms use to protect their intellectual property (IP). We
believe that such an exploration is highly desirable since extant
literature on international entrepreneurship has only to a very
little extent dealt with how born globals protect their IP, despite
the fact that recent contributions highlight the fact that the basis
of a born global's competitive advantage is its unique knowledge
which needs to be protected against outflow and imitation.
Our study therefore has an exploratory character. It employs a mixed-method approach of using quantitative data from the Swiss Innovation Survey, and qualitative data from interviews with six born globals. Our paper strives to relate the extent to which born globals appropriate economic returns from their IP to their firm-internal characteristics. The findings suggest seven endogenous and exogenous factors that significantly influence this extent: financial resources, experience with infringements, collaborations, market strategy, technology's risk of imitation, market's competitive structure and technological level.
Our findings further suggest that born globals protect their IP with both patent-based and ‘de-facto’ protection strategies. They exhibit a high degree of professionalism with respect to IP protection. These findings relativise earlier literature that asserts that SMEs lack professionalism when it comes to the protection of their IP. Finally, implications of these findings for the IE literature are discussed.
|type||book chapter (English)|
international entrepreneurship, international new venture, born global, intellectual property, patent, protection
|project||Born Global Innovators: The innovative capabilities of internationally active SMEs|
|book title||International Entrepreneurship in the Life Sciences|
|date of appearance||2011|
|publisher||Edward Elgar (Cheltenham, U.K.)|
|profile area||SoM - Business Innovation|
|citation||Keupp, M. M. (2011). Intellectual property protection in born globals. In International Entrepreneurship in the Life Sciences (pp. 194-213). Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar. - ISBN 978-1-84980-819-4.|