In the majority of industries—and especially in R&D intensive industries like computers, semiconductors, software and biotech—competitive advantage relies critically upon a firm's management of the knowledge and know-how underpinning its product and process innovation. This course will consider how firms should manage and protect this intellectual capital. We will examine the management of intellectual capital from the vantage point of different types of firms—from start-ups to large incumbents—operating in different market environments. We will consider how firms should protect their intellectual capital, using not only patents, but lead time advantages, complementary marketing and manufacturing capabilities and secrecy, and extract value from their intellectual capital through commercialization and licensing. We will also consider when firms should share their intellectual capital with other firms—even rivals, and how firms should go about acquiring the intellectual capital of others. Building upon the research literatures of economics, organizational behavior, management, and the law, the course will have particular focus on technology intensive industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, computers, semiconductors, software and telecommunications.
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