Unless you have truly fundamental inventions that no one else can copy, you need both [intellectual property rights and dynamic capabilities]. Strong intellectual property protection, in itself, will only help you on the first round of innovation. During that time, you can rent other people’s complementary capabilities. But sooner or later, you’re going to get copied, so you’ve got to move quickly to build the capabilities you need for the second round, and to try and preserve as much of the proprietary aspect of the technology as you can.
The most important factor is the integration of intellectual property with the overall corporate strategy. In most companies, the general counsel and the top strategy people don’t talk much to each other—but they should.
Author: David J. Teece
Subjects: Innovation, Intellectual Property, Management, Strategy