Vermeers and Rembrandts in the Same Attic: Complementarity between Copyright and Trademark Leveraging Strategies in Software
Georgia Institute of Technology TIGER Working Paper
33 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2006
Date Written: February 23, 2006
We examine the interrelationships between firms' efforts to leverage different types of intellectual property (IP) rights. While prior research has tended to view different forms of intellectual property as substitutes, we argue that they can also be viewed as complements. We motivate this argument by shifting the unit of analysis away from the level of a single invention to the level of the technology, product or firm. Using unstructured interviews, we develop hypotheses about the causes of IP complementarity. Specifically, we hypothesize that complementarity may result from common inputs into the management of IP within the firm, such as managerial attention to IP issues and organizational resources deployed for IP management. Our hypotheses are tested in the PC software industry with a seemingly-unrelated-regression (SUR) model, which provides support for complementarity between copyrights and trademarks in software, and suggests that this complementarity stems at least in part from our hypothesized common inputs into IP management. Our work addresses both the relative neglect of non-patent intellectual property rights and the disproportionate reliance on the IP-as-substitutes view in prior research.
Keywords: Patents, Copyright, Trademark, Software, Litigation, Complements, Substitutes
JEL Classification: O32, O34, L86, L29
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation