IP Modularity: Profiting from Innovation by Aligning Product Architecture with Intellectual Property

25 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2012 Last revised: 8 May 2013

See all articles by Joachim Henkel

Joachim Henkel

TUM School of Management - Technical University of Munich (TUM)

Carliss Y. Baldwin

Harvard Business School

Willy Shih

Harvard Business School

Date Written: November 30, 2012

Abstract

In this paper we explain how firms seeking to take advantage of distributed innovation and outsourcing can bridge the tension between value creation and value capture by modifying the modular structure of their technical systems. Specifically, we introduce the concept of “IP modularity”, a special form of modularity that seeks to protect and capture value from intellectual property (IP). We define what it means for a system to be “IP-modular,” and illustrate the application of this concept in a number of practical situations. From the examples, we derive a comprehensive framework that can be used to design and evaluate value capture strategies for modular systems.

Keywords: Modularity, value appropriation, distributed innovation, open innovation, intellectual property

Suggested Citation

Henkel, Joachim and Baldwin, Carliss Y. and Shih, Willy, IP Modularity: Profiting from Innovation by Aligning Product Architecture with Intellectual Property (November 30, 2012). Harvard Business School Finance Working Paper No. 13-012, Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Working Paper No. 13-012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2121600 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2121600

Joachim Henkel (Contact Author)

TUM School of Management - Technical University of Munich (TUM) ( email )

Arcisstr. 21
Munich, D-80333
Germany

Carliss Y. Baldwin

Harvard Business School ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States

Willy Shih

Harvard Business School ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States

HOME PAGE: http://drfd.hbs.edu/fit/public/facultyInfo.do?facInfo=bio&facEmId=wshih

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