The challenge of closing open innovation: the intellectual property disassembly problem
Journal article, 2014

This article addresses one of the many unexplored challenges associated with closing open innovation—the intellectual property (IP) disassembly problem. This is the problem of disentangling and allocating IP rights at the closing or termination of an open innovation project or at the exit of one or more of the vital participants. IP disassembly problems may be mitigated (but not eliminated) through contingent contractual provisions at the IP assembly stage. Moreover, provisions can be made at both the assembly and disassembly stages to prepare for and benefit from subsequent IP reassembly in a sequence of project generations over time. An overriding implication is that IP management addressing both IP assembly and disassembly problems is necessary (although not sufficient) for effective governance of open innovation.

Intellectual property


IP management

Open innovation

IP reassembly



Ove Granstrand

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Industrial Management and Economics

Marcus Holgersson

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Innovation and R&D Management

University of Gothenburg

Research Technology Management

0895-6308 (ISSN)

Vol. 57 5 19-25

Driving Forces

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Subject Categories

Economics and Business

Other Social Sciences

Business Administration



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