Intellectual Property Rights: The digital vehicle to packetise and digitally distribute knowledge intensive products?

Sara Amorós indicates in her research paper “The hidden costs of R&D collaboration” that “We find that the firm’s probability to do R&D or to introduce an innovation increases with the level of productivity, but only when this activity is shared with a research partner.

Moreover, according to the literature on R&D cooperation, the costs of innovating are smaller when cooperating. In fact, given the higher risks associated with the uncertainty of the market demand for new products or processes, the firm might allocate more importance to the cost/risk sharing rationale for this type of innovation activities, rather than for the just R&D investments”.

Traditionally the usage of Intellectual Property Rights has had a defensive and protectionist character. But,

  1. can property rights become the vehicle of transforming knowledge and innovation into digital assets to comersialise?
  2. can IPRs become the secure vehicle to digitalise physical products distribution?
  3. could this be a way for innovative companies to grow quicker through digital channels rather than “traditional” physical presence, production and distribution?

The pharmaceutical industry has been on that path for years: Pharmaceutical giants buy R&D to focus themselves on the industrialization, aggregation and commercialization, and, in size smaller companies, to focus on R&D á la carte.

This approach resolves the dichotomy of standarisation vs. differentiation, and focus on specialisation: small innovative companies lever their size to be flexible and quick respondent to market requirements, large corps deliver on scale and homogeneous quality across geographies’ and delivery chain.

We find that the firm’s probability to do R&D or to introduce an innovation increases with the level of productivity, but only when this activity is shared with a research partner.

By definition, patents are designed to encapsulate novelty, usefulness and industrial usage susceptibility. Those, combined with the application of blockchain technologies supporting anonymous transaction tracking that could assist to reduction of infringements, could be a trigger to motivate innovation, R&D as trading product and accelerate the introduction of digital channels to distribute that knowledge, leading to reduced distribution and transfer costs and global digital R&D markets/platforms: Open and secure supermarket of knowledge to combine at will by enterprises and consumers.

Next time you click on H&M webshop you’ll be granted a license of the design of that jacket that you just love and you’ll print out in your 3D printer…once.

I hope you enjoyed it!

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