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IP and open innovation

IP and collaborative innovation or “open innovation”

Until recently, intellectual property was seen as a right to prohibit. This prohibitive right gave the most innovative people an added extra, regardless of their economic power. In this sense, IP represents a leveller. More recently, the development of open innovation has given intellectual property a more subtle status, that of a unifier of collaborative contributions.
How to reconcile intellectual property and open innovation: a challenge for the early 21st century.

A concept formalised by Professor Henry Chesbrough from Berkeley University, open innovation has five levels: :

  • Openness to public research
  • Involvement of every member of the organisation (internal openness)
  • Openness to customers
  • Openness to the outside community
  • Openness to the entire population


Very quickly, IP TRUST became interested in this trend, joining that of outsourcing R&D in particular, and that of management wanting to motivate a broad community about the questions of innovation.

What is the role of Intellectual Property in Open Innovation?

It appears that intellectual property is not contradictory to open innovation and can even be a key factor in its success. New organisational models for establishing rights, appropriation and result sharing and more generally for sharing risks and profits imply revision of our former models and a new method for structuring IP rights within the open innovation approach.

We have taken part in important implementation projects for collaborative platforms using these approaches and helping companies of all sizes gain awareness of their impact. We have also run awareness sessions for employees, particularly research managers, boards of directors and IP and R&D departments.

We have also been involved in legal engineering of IP rights in open innovation approaches.

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