The Importance of IP Rights for Technological Academic Spin-Offs

40 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2022

Date Written: August 31, 2021


Academic spin-offs (ASOs) as a way of commercializing the results of technological research have become an increasingly important practical issue and have led to a surge of publications. It is generally accepted that IP protection is relevant to ASOs, but controversial and fragmented research leaves questions unanswered regarding the specific role of IP rights in this context, for instance with regard to the acquisition of funding. In this paper, we first conduct a literature review, providing an overview and combining the literature streams that relate to IP protection for ASOs and investor criteria. We identify IP rights as a vital success factor for ASOs in the light of heterogeneity and determine the relevant parameters of IP protection. Secondly, we examine whether current innovation ecosystems contribute positively to the success of ASOs, examining the legislative situation and university IP policies. Third and finally, we draw conclusions and present an IP roadmap that matches IP measures with ASO development stages. All three steps of this paper draw on general findings and, in addition, include case studies of Germany, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

Keywords: spin-off, spin-out, IP, patent, technology transfer, success factors, innovation ecosystem, venture capital, Germany, Kazakhstan, Ukraine

JEL Classification: K39, I23, M13

Suggested Citation

Zhangabylov, Abay and Danko, Kostiantyn and Baus, Tobias, The Importance of IP Rights for Technological Academic Spin-Offs (August 31, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Abay Zhangabylov


Kostiantyn Danko


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