Jakob Edler, Hugh Cameron, Mohammad Hajhashem

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Executive SummaryBackground – The existing body of work on innovation policy seemed to have failed to adequately address the role of intellectual property in innovation policy making. For that reason, the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research of the University of Manchester was requested by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to undertake a review of academic literature since 2000 to synthesise how intellectual property rights (IPRs) are taken into account in innovation policy making and how they interact with the implementation and effects of major innovation policy instruments.Objective – Document academic thinking on the subject in the last 15 years or so and, on that basis, draw conclusions for future work in this area.Findings include –• While the literature on the relationship between IPRs and innovation is enormous, the literature that focuses explicitly on the link of IPR to innovation policy and its many different instruments is very limited.• Three types of relationships between IPRs and innovation policy were identified: (1) institutional reform, whereby IPR reforms have been implemented with a view to enhance innovation and commercialisation, for example the Bayh-Dole Act, (2) instrumental use of IPRs as a deliberate component of the design of innovation policy instruments, for example the so-called Patent Box, and, most common, (3) incidental, unintended impacts of IPRs on the effects of innovation policy.• Such incidental impacts were in the areas of IPR management support, IPR and public procurement and in improving the interaction and connectivity between actors in the innovation system.Recommendations to WIPO -1. Contribute to a more balanced view of the organisational conditions needed to enhance innovation and commercialisation activities in universities, rather than take the positive effect of university ownership of patents for granted.2. Support further a better understanding of the Patent Box as an innovation policy instrument, as this is a policy approach that is more and more common across the OECD world but still not fully understood in its implications on innovation and competition between locations.3. Support and build up capacity of SME intermediaries as to IPR management and legal issues as well as on how to use IPR databases for technology searches.4. Support Member States in understanding the importance of IPR especially for public procurement policy.5. Ensure that IP administrations in Member States are aware of the role of IPR in innovation policy measures aimed at connectivity and that policy measures to support connectivity, cluster and network policies, R&D collaboration policies, and open innovation policies will need to include explicit guidance as to the use of IP in their design and implementation.6. Finally, work towards better capabilities and awareness on both sides of the divide between IPR policy and innovation policy. Innovation policy makers must be supported in their understanding of the operational detail of IPRs helping them to understand how the features and practices of IPR interact with the performance ofinnovation policy measures. Those responsible for supporting IPR regimes and practices throughout the world, especially in developing countries with their need to attract foreign competencies and move from imitation to innovation, need to realise how important strong IPR regimes and their appropriate use for innovation policy are.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGeneva
PublisherWorld Intellectual Property Organization
Number of pages81
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

Publication series

NameWIPO World Intellectual Property Organisation: Department for Transition and Developed Countries of the World Intellectual Property Organization
PublisherWorld Intellectual Property Organisation


  • Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation Policy, World Intellectual Property Organisation,


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