Intellectual Property Management
In the knowledge economy, Intellectual Property (IP) assets have been recognized as a main source of competitive advantage. This is proved by the increasing trend towards patent application and trademark registration on the part not only of large companies but also of SMEs (e.g. Hollanders and Es Sadki, 2013; Hanel, 2006). IP management integrates two areas: the first concerns internal management of intellectual property rights (IPRs), whereas the second concerns external management of IPRs (Pitkethly, 2001). This distinction follows the increasing tendency of firms towards opening their boundaries to complement internal with external knowledge, considered that new knowledge is at the basis of IP asset development. Appropriating the value of such knowledge sources requires a strategic approach towards IP management, which encompasses both a firm’s internal management of IPRs aimed at “managing the creation and preservation of the company’s IP resources” , as well as the external management of IPRs, which concerns how a firm acquires knowledge and IPRs from others firms and vice versa (Pitkethly, 2001). Therefore, the aim of this ebook is to shed more light on these two levels of analysis (i.e. internal and external) to enrich our understanding of different facets of IP management and provide managers with remarkable suggestions on IP management practices.