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Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights in Weak Appropriability Regimes : The Case of de Facto Protection Strategies in China

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abstract Many emerging economies are characterised by weak appropriability systems and absent legal systems to punish imitators. This places foreign firms’ intellectual property rights at risk, because existing appropriation methods, such as patents or secrecy, cannot function effectively. This concern especially applies to China, the empirical context of this article.

Such adverse conditions force managers to devise new strategies to safeguard their firms’ intellectual property rights. Yet no evidence describes whether strategies exist, which forms they take, how they have evolved or how they get implemented.

This article addresses this knowledge gap and explores strategies that managers have developed to achieve de facto protection, despite China’s weak appropriability system. The analysis systematically explores 13 cases of foreign firms with wholly owned subsidiaries in China.

The findings confirm that de facto strategies exist, describe how they work and detail how they were achieved. The findings suggest implications for both managers and academics.
   
type journal paper
   
keywords Intellectual property rights · China · Appropriability regime ·
De facto protection strategies
   
project New theoretical perspectives for international innovation: Research gaps and the need for intrafirm information
language English
kind of paper journal article
date of appearance 2-2010
journal Management International Review
publisher Gabler Verlag (Wiesbaden)
ISSN 0938-8249
ISSN (online) 1861-8901
DOI 10.1007/s11575-009-0020-9
volume of journal 50
number of issue 1
page(s) 109-130
review double-blind review
   
citation Keupp, M. M., Beckenbauer, A., & Gassmann, O. (2010). Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights in Weak Appropriability Regimes: The Case of de Facto Protection Strategies in China. Management International Review, 50(1), 109-130, DOI:10.1007/s11575-009-0020-9.