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Ratio Working Paper No. 329: IPRs and Appropriability in the Digital Era: Evidence from the Swedish Video (Computer) Games Industry

PublikationWorking paper
Appropriability, Digitalization, Innovation, Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), Vicky Long, Video Games, Vinnova
Working Paper No 329
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Sammanfattning

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.

Long, V. (2019). IPRs and Appropriability in the Digital Era: Evidence from the Swedish Video (Computer) Games Industry. Wokring Paper no. 329. Stockholm: Ratio.


Liknande innehåll

Third-Generation Innovation Policy: System Transformation or Reinforcing Business as Usual?
BokkapitelPublikation
Bergkvist, J. E., Moodysson, J., & Sandström, C.
Publiceringsår

2022

Publicerat i

Questioning the Entrepreneurial State, 201.

Sammanfattning

There has been a shift in innovation policy in recent years toward more focus on systemic transformation and changed directionality. In this chapter, we describe a collection of challenges that such policies need to address. Based on a review of dominant frameworks regarding socio-technical transitions, we compare these theories with examples of innovation policy in different countries. Systemic transformation across an economy usually requires a process of creative destruction in which new competencies may be required, actors need to be connected in novel ways, and institutions may need to be changed. Our empirical illustrations show that support programs and initiatives across Europe do not always seem to result in such a process, as they include mechanisms favoring large, established firms and universities. These actors have often fine-tuned their activities and capabilities to the existing order, and therefore have few incentives to engage in renewal. As the incumbent actors also control superior financial and relational resources, there is a risk that they captivate innovation policies and thus reinforce established structures rather than contributing to systemic transformation.

Profiting from Innovation in the Digital Era: Evidence from the Swedish Videogames Industry
BokkapitelPublikation
Long, V.
Publiceringsår

2020

Sammanfattning

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).

Technological Change and Industrial Transformation
BokPublikation
Long, V. & Holmén, M.
Publiceringsår

2021

Publicerat i
Sammanfattning

Industrial transformation is a research and teaching field with a focus on the phenomenon and mechanisms of industrial development and renewal. It concerns changes in economic activities caused by innovation, competition and collaboration, and has a rich heritage of evolutionary economics, institutional economics, industrial dynamics, technology history and innovation studies. It borrows concepts and models from the social sciences (sociology, history, political sciences, business/management, economics, behavioural sciences) and also from technology and engineering studies.
In this book, the authors present the key theories, frameworks and concepts of industrial transformation and use empirical cases to describe and explain the causes, processes and outcomes of transformation in the context of digitalization and sustainability. They stress that industrial transformation consists both of Darwinian “survival of the fittest” selection, and of intentional pursuits of innovation, and of industrial capabilities creation. The work argues that managing the global trends of transformation is not only about new technology and innovation: existing institutional settings and dynamic interactions between technological change, organizational adaptation and economic activities also have a profound impact on future trajectories.
The areas under investigation are of great relevance for strategic management decisions and industrial and technology policies, and understanding the mechanisms underlying transformation and sustainable growth.

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