Creating value through external intellectual property commercialization: a desorptive capacity view
Journal article, 2013
In open innovation systems, capturing value through external intellectual property (IP) commercialization is an increasingly important strategy for firms to keep pace with competitive changes. However, many firms have major difficulties in creating value through external patent exploitation. To understand these challenges, this paper explores how firms manage their external patent exploitation based on a multiple case study research design with fourteen firms from the pharmaceutical and chemical industry. Adopting a desorptive capacity perspective we find four main factors influencing the firms' management of external patent exploitation: the type of value creation, the organizational structure, the locus of initiative, and the extent of know-how transfer along with the patent. Based on these factors, three archetypes of external patent exploitation with different levels of desorptive capacity are identified. The article extends the concept of desorptive capacity and existing literature on intellectual property management in the context of open innovation. Managerial implications helping firms to implement external IP commercialization structures are discussed.