Search

Profiting from Innovation in the Digital Era: Evidence from the Swedish Videogames Industry

PublicationBook chapter
Appropriability, Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), Video Games

Abstract

We know that firms use multiple appropriability means: intellectual property rights (IPRs), trade secrecy, market lead-time, and this varies significantly between industry sectors. We, however, do not know how and to what extent the appropriability regime are modified in response to digitalization and open innovation. This study aims to fill in that gap, through a study of the Swedish games industry. Applying a well-established framework — Profiting from Innovation — to the digital context, this study collects primary data from semi-structured (firm) interviews, a survey and combining the statistical data from the branch organization and from EUIPO trademark database. It has been identified that: (a) this is an industry re-entering into a fluid phase of innovation with a rapid growth of products and (small) firms; (b) the value chains are transforming into value networks and the complementary assets are to be reassessed; and (c) trademarks are gaining importance and a Demsetz-ian path of internalization of IPs is pursued. Digitalization re-defines the key pillars of the PFI framework in many respects.

Long, V. (2020). Profiting from innovation in the digital era: Evidence from the Swedish videogames industry. In Managing Digital Open Innovation (pp. 141-175).


Similar content

Ratio Working Paper No. 329: IPRs and Appropriability in the Digital Era: Evidence from the Swedish Video (Computer) Games Industry
Working paperPublication
Long, V.
Publication year

2019

Published in

Ratio Working Paper

Abstract

This study contributes to a meso (industry)-level understanding of the changing complexity of the general appropriability conditions in the digital era on the one hand, and the role of IPRs in that (appropriability) on the other hand, through a study of an industry sector – the Swedish video (computer) games industry – where digital distribution prevails and IPRs are important (copyrights in derivative works; trademarks in game titles).Combining analyses on EPO patent data, EUIPO trademark data, firm-level interviews and survey data, this study firstly identifies a paradoxical development: on the one hand, there is a clear digital take-off of IPRs’ propensity, namely firms tend to be more active in registering trademarks and valuing their copyrights (firm size and technological platform matter though). On the other hand, the digital traits – digitally induced high levels of interactivities (between supply and demand) and the digital division of a product (in provisions) – provide strong protections (to the innovation) from a technical standpoint, which offsets the importance of IPRs. Then what are IPRs for, in a technologically tight appropriability regime? This study further identifies that the increase of the importance of IPRs is not derived from IPRs’ protection function, but from their signalling function. In the digital era, new products easily disappear in the digital crowd, and IPRs can act as an important remedy by signalling the origin and quality of products as well as new innovations. This study provides a snapshot of the digital complexity pertinent to the issue of appropriability.

Ratio Working Paper No. 318: Trademarks and Appropriability in the Digital Era – Evidences from Swedish Video Games Industry
Working paperPublication
Long, V. & Domeij, B.
Publication year

2019

Published in

Ratio Working Paper

Abstract

What role can trademark play in appropriability regime, especially in a digitalized era where many innovations are easy to copy and difficult to protect, and where rapid diffusion is the norm? This study, using the Swedish video games industry as a case, aims to provide some insights and tentative answers to those questions. Combining firm-level interviews, statistical data concerning EUIPO trademarks filed by the Swedish video games industry, we present the quantitative trends of trademarking across this industry sector (i.e. timeline; distribution across technological platforms and firm sizes; correlation with turnover), as well as qualitative explanations for that. This study contributes to a meso-level explanation of the role of trademarks (registrations) in appropriability on the one hand, and to the understanding of the complexity of the general appropriability conditions (and logic) in the Digital Era, on the other.

Show more