John HAGEDOORN (Maastricht University)
The allocation of intellectual property control rights in R&D alliances
John HAGEDOORN – Maastricht University – The allocation of intellectual property control rights in R&D alliances
Abstract : In this paper, we study the control rights allocated to partners within R&D alliances formed in the bio-pharmaceutical industry. More in particular, we focus on the allocation of intellectual property control rights as seen from the perspective of the firm that is the main source of the technology that is developed or used within the alliance. The empirical analysis considers three main conditions that are expected to affect the allocation of control rights. The first condition refers to the impact of inter-firm asymmetries within alliances, i.e. asymmetries in innovative capabilities. The second condition relates to the scope of alliances in terms of both their focus on different stages of the innovation process and their breadth as indicated by the number of technology applications. The third condition refers to the exclusivity of contracts that limit the options for firms to engage in related alternative activities with third parties. Our main findings indicate that conditions such as inter-firm asymmetries, in particular asymmetries in innovative capabilities, the technology scope of alliances, and the exclusivity in alliance partnering play a decisive role in the allocation of intellectual property control rights in R&D alliances.