Controlling Intellectual Property Across the High-Tech Frontier: University Spin-Offs, Smes, and the Science Base

Posted: 24 Nov 2009

See all articles by andrew C webster

andrew C webster

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Brian Rappert

affiliation not provided to SSRN

David Charles

Curtin University - Centre for Research in Applied Economics

Date Written: 2003

Abstract

The role of the university in the formation ofspin-off companies is investigated, as well as how that role reflects differentregional contexts. In order to study the relationships between universityand regional agencies and between university and spin-off firms, research wasconducted in East Anglia and North-East England, two distinct regions in theUnited Kingdom. [While East Anglia is rich in university spin-offs(USOs), North-East England has no strong history of USOs.] Interviews with USOs from both regions were conducted in order to develop atypology of firms' relationships with the host university and to studystrategies for the appropriation of intellectual property.The interviewsenabled the authors to identify four types of USO: those committed toindependence from the university, those retaining informal links to theuniversity, those retaining formal links, and university-basedcompanies.Control of intellectual property was not an issue amongindependent USOs, while informally linked USOs avoided disputes with theuniversity over intellectual property rights.USOs retaining formal tiesmaintained close relationships with the university in everything butintellectual property matters.University-based companies, on the otherhand, frequently faced intellectual property right disputes with theuniversity. The data are usedto construct models of the relationship between theuniversity and its regional context, in whichuniversities figureascenters of excellence, as businesses, and as part of the regional developmentinfrastructure.Those who argue that small firms (such as USOs) do a poorjob of protecting their intellectual property rights must recognize that theintellectual property appropriation depends upon factors such as sectorallocation and relations of trust.(SAA)

Keywords: University-firm relations, Regional economies, University-industry-government relations, Location factors, Colleges & universities, Intellectual property, University spinouts, Trust relationships

Suggested Citation

webster, andrew C and Rappert, Brian and Charles, David, Controlling Intellectual Property Across the High-Tech Frontier: University Spin-Offs, Smes, and the Science Base (2003). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1512297

Andrew C Webster (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Brian Rappert

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

David Charles

Curtin University - Centre for Research in Applied Economics ( email )

GPO Box U1987
Perth, Western Australia 6845
Australia

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