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Intellectual Property and Innovation Protection by Rémi Lallement

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5What is the Contribution Made to Emerging Forms of Innovation?

Due especially to the digital revolution, the intellectual property system is highly called upon – and occasionally considerably strained – by issues that derive from new forms of innovation and the emerging sectors of technological innovation. This chapter illustrates this point by examining how property rights contribute to the new forms of innovation. On a microeconomic scale, the previous developments have underlined that companies often use – and, undoubtedly, increasingly so – intellectual property rights for uses other than the traditional role of protecting innovation in a narrow sense. The fact that companies are developing strategic uses, especially those that correspond to the notion of blocking patents, makes us wonder about the consequences of these practices on the innovation process, especially in relation to certain sectors. This question is particularly relevant in sectors that involve incremental and cumulative innovation. Two emblematic cases allow us to make an assessment: biotechnologies and the software industry.

5.1. The challenges of the digital world and the new forms of innovation

For the intellectual property system, technological progress and the development of new ways of innovating represent both a source of opportunities and a risk of destabilization. The analysis shows this not only in relation to open innovation, innovation through reutilization, and networked innovation, but also ...

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