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Opening up IP Strategy: Implications for Open Source Software Entry by Start-Up Firms

Management Science, Forthcoming

61 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2015  

Wen Wen

University of Texas at Austin - McCombs School of Business

Marco Ceccagnoli

Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech

Chris Forman

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management; Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business

Date Written: January 5, 2015

Abstract

We examine whether a firm’s IP strategy in support of the open source software (OSS) community stimulates new OSS product entry by start-up software firms. In particular, we analyze the impact of strategic decisions taken by IBM around the mid-2000s, such as its announcement that it will not assert its patents against the OSS community and its creation of a patent commons. These decisions formed a coherent IP strategy in support of OSS. We find that IBM’s actions stimulated new OSS product introductions by entrepreneurial firms, and that their impact is increasing in the cumulativeness of innovation in the market and the extent to which patent ownership in the market is concentrated.

Keywords: IP strategy, open source, open source software (OSS), OSS entry, patent commons, patent pledge, patent thicket, start-ups’ OSS innovation, cumulative innovation, concentrated patent ownership

JEL Classification: L86, O34

Suggested Citation

Wen, Wen and Ceccagnoli, Marco and Forman, Chris, Opening up IP Strategy: Implications for Open Source Software Entry by Start-Up Firms (January 5, 2015). Management Science, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2590198

Wen Wen (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - McCombs School of Business ( email )

2110 Speedway Stop B6500
Austin, TX 78712
United States

Marco Ceccagnoli

Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech ( email )

800 West Peachtree St.
Atlanta, GA 30308
United States

Chris Forman

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States

Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business ( email )

800 West Peachtree St.
Atlanta, GA 30308
United States

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