Online citations, reference lists, and bibliographies.
← Back to Search

Users As Innovators: Implications For Patent Doctrine

Katherine Strandburg
Published 2008 · Business

Cite This
Download PDF
Analyze on Scholarcy
Share
User innovators develop technology in order to use, rather than sell, it. Users of products and services - both firms and individual consumers - are increasingly able to innovate for themselves. The benefits user innovators derive from developing and using their inventions provide sufficient compensation to motivate them to invest the effort necessary to invent them. User innovators range from commercial firms, which invent new production methods in expectation of competitive advantage, to individual hobbyists motivated entirely by their enjoyment of the inventive process. Under current law, user innovators may, and sometimes do, choose to protect their inventions by trade secrecy or patenting, but these legal protections are not central to motivating their inventive activity. User innovators often benefit from "freely revealing" their innovations to others. This picture of user innovation is in sharp contrast to the picture that dominates discussions of patent policy, which have for the most part remained rooted in the paradigm of commercial sale. In the standard analysis, incentives for inventing, disclosing, and disseminating new technologies arise from the potential for recouping innovative investments through commercial sales. Because of the potential for free riding by competitors when an invention is sold, the argument goes, patents are needed to maintain socially optimal levels of innovation. User innovation challenges this picture because user innovators do not need the prospect of sales to motivate them to invent. If we can identify contexts in which user innovations would be produced, disclosed, and disseminated despite limitations on patent protection, we may be able to modify patent doctrine so as to avoid the social costs of unnecessarily broad protection. This Article lays out a framework for thinking about patent doctrine in the context of user innovation. It then explores one context in which user innovation plays a significant role - the development of inventions that can be used as research tools.
This paper references
Regulating Scientific Research, supra note 15
E G See
10.1016/S1048-4736(05)16002-0
The Bayh-Dole Act and High-Technology Entrepreneurship in U.S. Universities: Chicken, Egg, or Something Else?
D. Mowery (2005)
10.1016/0048-7333(93)90034-F
Innovation and learning during implementation: a comparison of user and manufacturer innovations
S. Slaughter (1993)
Episodes of Collective Invention (U.S
Peter B. Meyer (2003)
Recent Skirmishes in the Seed Wars
See (2003)
Patent Portfolios, 154 U
Gideon Parchomovsky (2005)
Safrin, supra note
See (1968)
Proceedings of the 32nd EMAC conference
M. Saren (2003)
10.31235/osf.io/sjxtz
The Economics of Improvement in Intellectual Property Law
Mark A. Lemley (2008)
The impact of scientific and commercial values on the sources of scientific instrument innovation
William M. Riggs (1992)
10.1016/S0048-7333(02)00006-9
How Communities Support Innovative Activities: An Exploration of Assistance and Sharing Among End-Users
Sonali K. Shah (2003)
An Exploration of Assistance and Sharing Among End - Users , 32 RES
Nikolaus Franke (2003)
For discussions of patents as facilitators of commercialization and licensing, see, for example
Suzanne Scotchmer (1990)
product" market and "innovation" market
Graeme B. Dinwoodie (2005)
Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms
Wesley M. Cohen (2000)
10.1287/MNSC.34.5.569
Lead User Analyses for the Development of New Industrial Products
G. Urban (1988)
supra note 9, at 85-88; Shah, supra note 37, at 343-45; Shah, supra note 43, at 27
DEMOCRATIZING INNOVATION (2008)
For discussions of incentive theories of patent law, see, for example
(1989)
10.1016/S0140-6736(05)73637-0
Art
P. G. Rossi (2000)
Strandburg, Technology Transfer and An Information View of Universities: A Conceptual Framework For Academic Freedom, Intellectual Property
See Patrick L. Jones (2006)
PENNING, BIKE HISTORY
See CHRISTIAN (2002)
Brief for the United States as Amicus Curiae Supporting Petitioner
10.15779/Z38J44Q
Commercial Success and Patent Standards: Economic Perspectives on Innovation
Robert P. Merges (1988)
10.1007/978-1-349-15486-9_13
Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention
K. Arrow (1962)
10.2307/2393553
ABSORPTIVE CAPACITY: A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON LEARNING AND INNOVATION
W. Cohen (1990)
10.2139/ssrn.419560
Information Wants to Be Free: Intellectual Property and the Mythologies of Control
R. Wagner (2003)
Injunction Against BarnesandNoble.com is Overturned
See (2001)
10.2307/1122920
On the Complex Economics of Patent Scope
Robert P. Merges (1990)
Brief for Eli Lilly & Co. et al. as Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioner, Merck, 125 S. Ct. 2372 (No. 03-1237); Brief for the Am
S Ct
Open Science, supra note 15; Eisenberg, supra note 15; Rai, Regulating Scientific Research, supra note 15; Strandburg, supra note
See (2008)
10.1017/CBO9780511494529.045
WTO Dispute Resolution and the Preservation of the Public Domain of Science Under International Law (with R. Dreyfuss)
Graeme B. Dinwoodie (2005)
This "product" market and "innovation" market distinction is discussed by
Safrin, supra note 27, at 1935-46
See (1935)
From Innovation to Firm Formation in the Windsurfing, Skateboarding and Snowboarding Industries
Sonali K. Shah (2005)
Brief for Bar Ass'n of D.C. as Amicus Curiae Supporting Neither Party, Merck, 125 S. Ct. 2372 (No. 03-1237); Brief for Intellectual Prop
S Ct
10.1109/ICMIT.2006.262258
Barriers to User-Innovation: The Paradigm of `Permission to Innovate'
V. Braun (2006)
10.31228/osf.io/4y2h6
Legal-Ware: Contract and Copyright in the Digital Age
M. Madison (1998)
Urban & Eric von Hippel , Lead User Analyses for the Development of New Industrial Products , 34 MGMT
B. Peter (1988)
Reservation of Humanitarian Uses, in IP HANDBOOK OF BEST PRACTICES
Alan B. Bennett (2008)
Sarah Slaughter , Innovation and Learning During Implementation : A Comparison of User and Manufacturer Innovations , 22 RES
See CHRISTIAN PENNING (1993)
10.2139/SSRN.1683509
Normative Copyright: A Conceptual Framework for Copyright Philosophy
J. Garon (2003)
10.1016/J.RESPOL.2006.04.010
Selective revealing in open innovation processes: The case of embedded Linux
J. Henkel (2006)
For other theories of the function of patents, see, for example, Clarisa Long, Patent Signals, 69 U
Scott Kieff (2001)
Urban & Eric von Hippel , Lead User Analyses for the Development of New Industrial Products , 34 MGMT
L Glen (1988)
10.1016/S1048-4736(05)16006-8
Commercializing University Research Systems in Economic Perspective: A View from the Demand Side
Brett M. Frischmann (2005)
Rethinking Patent Damages, 10 TEX
Roger D. Blair (2001)
10.1016/0048-7333(94)90008-6
Incentives to innovate and the sources of innovation: the case of scientific instruments☆
William M. Riggs (1994)



This paper is referenced by
OPENING UP THE INNOVATION SYSTEM FRAMEWORK TOWARDS NEW ACTORS AND INSTITUTIONS
P. Warnke (2016)
Accommodating User Innovation in the International Intellectual Property Regime: A Global Administrative Law Approach
Katherine Strandburg (2009)
10.1007/978-3-319-13311-9_8
University Knowledge Transfer: From Fundamental Rights to Open Access within International Law
Valentina Moscon (2015)
10.1016/J.RESPOL.2010.07.001
Under the radar: Industry entry by user entrepreneurs
S. Haefliger (2010)
1 Interfacing Intellectual property rights and Open innovation
Nari Lee (2010)
10.1093/SCIPOL/SCW042
Market Failure in the Diffusion of Clinician-Developed Innovations: The Case of Off-Label Drug Discoveries
E. Hippel (2016)
Consumer innovation in Finland : incidence, diffusion and policy implications
J. Kuusisto (2013)
Chapter 12 - Innovation Law and Policy Choices for Climate Change-Related Public–Private Partnerships
Joshua D. Sarnoff (2018)
10.1017/CBO9780511761027.004
Intellectual Property and Human Development: Intellectual property through the lens of human development
Tzen Wong (2010)
Innovation Policy Pluralism
Justin Roach (2019)
Constructive Ambiguity: IP Licenses as a Case Study
Michal Shur-Ofry (2014)
New challenges in the intersection of intellectual property rights with competition law: a view from Europe and the United States
I. Lianos (2013)
NELLCO Legal Scholarship Repository
Katherine Strandburg (2013)
10.2139/SSRN.1229543
Evolving Innovation Paradigms and the Global Intellectual Property Regime
Katherine Strandburg (2008)
Managing Customer Co-creation: Empirical Evidence from Finnish High-tech SMEs
Tuomas Pukkala (2015)
10.2139/ssrn.2426498
Market Failure in the Diffusion of Consumer-Developed Innovations: Patterns in Finland
Jeroen P.J. de Jong (2015)
10.1287/orsc.1070.0314
Norms-Based Intellectual Property Systems: The Case of French Chefs
Emmanuelle Fauchart (2008)
10.1017/9781316863398
An Islamic Vision of Intellectual Property: Theory and Practice
Ezieddin Elmahjub (2019)
10.2139/ssrn.2079763
The User Innovation Paradigm: Impacts on Markets and Welfare
A. Gambardella (2015)
10.2139/ssrn.2605055
A Natural Experiment on Innovation Without Patents
A. Torrance (2014)
10.1016/J.RESPOL.2015.06.015
Market Failure in the Diffusion of Consumer-Developed Innovations: Patterns in Finland
J. Jong (2015)
10.7551/mitpress/9780262035217.001.0001
Free Innovation
Eric A. von Hippel (2016)
10.2139/SSRN.1597123
Overprotection and Protection Overlaps in Intellectual Property Law - the Need for Horizontal Fair Use Defences
M. Senftleben (2010)
10.2202/1555-5879.1441
Introduction: The Kauffman Foundation Conference on Intellectual Property and Innovation
Gerrit De Geest (2009)
10.2139/SSRN.1674365
Interfacing Intellectual Property Rights and Open Innovation
Nari Lee (2010)
10.2139/SSRN.2735942
The Dark Side of Altruism in the Context of Patent Incentives: Are You Really Here for Me? Taking Off the Rose-Colored Glasses
Katherine D Sheriff (2015)
10.7551/mitpress/9439.003.0017
Intellectual Property at the Boundary
Katherine Strandburg (2015)
INDIALICS NETWORK FOR ECONOMICS OF LEARNING, INNOVATION, AND COMPETENCE BUILDING SYSTEM Patents and grassroots innovations: rethinking intellectual property rights in the informal sector
Harilal Madhavan (2016)
Open, distributed and user-centered: Towards a paradigm shift in innovation policy
J. Jong (2010)
Do patents improve the innovation process?
Madeline Tyson (2018)
10.1287/ORSC.1100.0618
Modeling a Paradigm Shift: From Producer Innovation to User and Open Collaborative Innovation
Carliss Baldwin (2011)
Semantic Scholar Logo Some data provided by SemanticScholar