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Sources of inventive activity and the IPR - system: An empirical analysis of a changing relationship in a small open economy (Norway)

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Iversen, EJ (2011) Sources of inventive activity and the IPR - system: An empirical analysis of a changing relationship in a small open economy (Norway). PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This thesis examines and analyzes changing patterns of IPR use (particularly patenting) in the
specific context of a national system of innovation (Norway). Norway has, like many other
OECD countries, seen a significant expansion of IPR usage during the past two decades. The
increase in patenting in particular is a defining feature of the contemporary innovation
landscape, as are related policy efforts to promote wider IPR use. (e.g. among SMES, service
sector, academic research) This has led to a shift in the variety of actors who patent and to an
increase in overall patent applications. In turn the rationale for patenting is also evolving.
Several factors are thus contributing to a shift in how patents are used, by whom and why.
This change has potentially important implications for the innovation system and the wider
economy: it can affect the orientation of knowledge accumulation over time; it can condition
the way new knowledge is utilized; and, thereby, it can influence pathways for industrial
development. However, several challenges have impeded comprehensive analysis of who uses
IPR over time and why.
The contribution of the thesis to the theoretical and empirical understanding of IPR-use is
structured in six stand-alone chapters. The first applies a systems-approach to examine the
role IPRs play in the wider innovation system. This analysis links the role and position of the
patent system particularly to underlying industrial dynamics and points to changing areas of
use, e.g. to promote collaboration. A set of empirically-oriented articles follows and expands
on themes introduced here.
The empirical chapters all use new or adapted empirical approaches to examine aspects of
IPR use that are important both to theoretical discourse and to current innovation policy. The
first examines diversification of innovation activity in Norway using unique firm-level IPR
data. (1994-2003) IPR growth is found to be driven more by smaller firms—especially in
knowledge intensive services—than traditional IPR-holders (large manufacturers). Two
chapters then focus on SME patenting, at home—in the lead up to the IT bubble, and in
Europe—in the lead up to Norwegian membership in the EPC. A co-authored article then
examines academic patenting, which recent legislation was introduced to promote. It shows
that public sector researchers played a substantial but field-dependent role in patenting before
legislation. The final chapter rounds off by examining patent-based collaboration, where
patenting increases rather than decreases the odds of research collaboration.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
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Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2011 01:48
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:53
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