The conference will cover three closely intertwined themes:
(A) Profiting from innovation and intellectual property: This session will explore if and how the so-called “peculiarities” of services (e.g. intangibility, reverse service product life cycle, organization of R&D and client involvement in innovation) affect the ways in which firms use formal, contractual and strategic means to protect and capture value from their IP. The session will explore how features of the industry, firm and innovation bear on the selection of methods for capturing value from innovation. Particular emphasis will be devoted to the question of how far these choices are related to KIBS firms’ general competitive strategies, and their approaches to knowledge management.
(B) Challenges of open innovation business models: This session will be concerned with the extent and types of “open innovation” in services firms. How can we understand the various forms and configurations of collaborative relationships with suppliers, customers, competitors, universities, consultants or research labs during the innovation process? What are the challenges faced by each of these partners – for example, in finding the right balance between knowledge sharing and co-creation, on the one hand, and protecting their core knowledge assets and competencies, on the other. How do firms’ orientation towards IP rights facilitate or inhibit collaborative innovation and the adoption of open innovation business models?
(C) Capturing value from IP in different IP regimes: The aim of this session is to identify and discuss differences in IP regimes in different jurisdictions, including the United States, which take a more favourable stance to the legal protection of IP (especially in relation to business method and software patenting) than others, such as in Europe. What are the implications of IP regime differences for competitive strategy? Are these changing?