Digital is not only disrupting products and services. It is also disrupting the overall idea that intellectual property management shall be centralized and tightly governed by its owner or be subjected to the “Tragedy of the common” as stated by Garret Harding in the late 60’s.

Not only digital innovators, following on Linux’s community’s heels, strongly counter centralization of Intellectual Property by forcibly disseminating their works through free/open-source licenses, but also the customers/users themselves are pushing hard to be part of the value creation processes, as they did by pivoting Amazon business for instance.

Those needs of a more open creation, expressing a will of sufficient ecosystem density and frequency of innovation, are fulfilled by Intellectual Property used as a tool to include people in an ecosystem in which they are free to innovate, rather than a mean to exclude them from products and services designs.

Using IP as an inclusive tool is not only preserved for free software communities. Indeed, private enterprises, such as Apple or Salesforce to name a few, successfully put in place IPRs architecture enabling ecosystems to develop new solutions around their core technologies.

This shift of paradigm, from a heavily centralized IP management to an ecosystem-based management of IPRs, echoes the work of Henry Chesbrough and Martin Curley about open innovation 2.0 and innovation networks, but also the work of Elinor Ostrom on common goods and bundle of rights.

When designing an IP strategy in the digital world, one shall nowadays consider the customers’ needs of the ecosystem and innovation, while viewing IPRs’ scope as the combination of an exclusive scope and an inclusive scope.

The current document below was preliminary drafted for communication purposes toward marketing and R&D people and follows a first document about Intellectual Property and Willingness-to-pay.

About the blogpost author:

Frédéric Le Mauff is a Sr Corporate Intellectual Property at bioMérieux, a worldwide leader of In Vitro diagnostic, where he is in charge of IP strategy in the digital area as well as the digital IP portfolio including digital patents, software copyrights, data rights, trade-secrets and open-source compliance process. Holding a PhD in automation and machine learning, he is involved in artificial intelligence projects, data value chain definition and digital partnerships. Frédéric joined bioMérieux 6 years ago after having worked in private law firms for 15 years.