Imitative Pasts, Innovation Pathways and Intellectual Property
INNOVATION AND TRIPLE HELIX, Anselm Kamperman Sanders, ed., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019, Forthcoming
13 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2018
Date Written: November 30, 2018
Throughout history, countries have transformed from imitators to innovators. Cases in point are Germany, the United States, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, all of which have crossed over from the pirating side of the intellectual property divide to its more promising side. Thus far, it has been unclear how much of that crossover can be attributed to the development of a well-functioning intellectual property system, as opposed to other factors, such as the improved quality of higher education and increased research-and-development expenditures.
As important as intellectual property rights have been, their levels of protection and enforcement have not always been a good proxy for a country's innovative capabilities. Innovation comes in many different forms. While the past two centuries have seen intellectual property rights providing a major boost to innovation, such innovation can also be driven by necessity, patronage, grants and prizes. In the past decade, the relationship between intellectual property and innovation has become even more complicated with the growing popularity of open source projects, crowd source arrangements and 'IP without IP' scholarship.
To interrogate this relationship, the present chapter draws on three decades of intellectual property developments in China. China was chosen for this study because it has recently transformed from the poster child of intellectual property piracy and counterfeiting to become one of the world's innovative powers. The chapter begins by recounting this dramatic transformation. The chapter then notes that the form of innovation found in today's China is different from the breakthrough innovation embraced by the United States and other leading innovative powers. This chapter concludes by identifying two distinct lessons on innovation, drawing on China's experience and innovation model.
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