Intellectual Property and Technology Startups: What Entrepreneurs Tell Us
in: Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results, Vol. 2 (Advances in the Study of Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Economic Growth, Vol. 26, M. Thursby, ed.), pp. 163-199. (2016)
37 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2018 Last revised: 10 Mar 2018
Date Written: March 1, 2016
This chapter provides evidence on how young technology startups are employing intellectual property (IP) protection when innovating and competing in the United States. Although researchers and teachers of university technology transfer often think only in terms of patents and the Bayh-Dole Act, this chapter suggests that adopting a more nuanced view of IP rights is appropriate. After reviewing the primary non-patent types of IP protection available in the U.S. (copyright, trademark, and trade secret), we explain that while patents are often considered the strongest protection, for some entrepreneurs – particularly those operating in the U.S. software and Internet sectors – patents may be the least important means of capturing value from innovation. We present evidence from the 2008 Berkeley Patent Survey to demonstrate that IP is used by U.S. startups in very different ways, and to different effects, across technology sectors and other company-specific characteristics. Contrary to the common assumption in academic discourse, we show that different forms of IP protection often serve as complements, rather than substitutes.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Copyrights, Trademarks, Trade Secrets, Patents
JEL Classification: L21, L26, O31, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation