(This is a throwback article from the January-February 2004 issue of Research-Technology Management and is the second publication made by Henry Chesbrough on the topic of Open Innovation after publishing his book in which he coined the term. It is adapted from a presentation he delivered at IRI’s 2003 Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs, CO. For the latest RTM article by Henry Chesbrough, check out the January-February 2017 issue, open to the public for a limited time!)
By Henry Chesbrough
Not long ago, internal research and development was viewed as a strategic asset, and even a barrier to competitive entry in many industries. Only large companies with significant resources and long-term research programs could compete. Research-based companies like DuPont, Merck, IBM, GE, and AT&T did the most research in their respective industries. And they earned most of the profits as well. Rivals who sought to unseat these firms had to ante up their own resources, and create their own labs, if they were to have any chance against these leaders. Today, the former leading industrial enterprises are encountering remarkably strong competition from many newer companies. Continue reading
By MaryAnne M. Gobble, Managing Editor, Research-Technology Management (RTM)
In the last installment of this column, I initiated a new series of topics aimed at defining the vocabulary of innovation management. The object is to look critically at the profession’s terms of art, exploring their origins and mapping their limitations, to provide new clarity, and in the process restore some of their power. By looking at the terminology at the heart of innovation management and exploring how it has emerged and evolved, perhaps we can also get a glimpse of where innovation is heading.
In the first entry in the series, we looked at the concept of disruptive innovation. This time, we’re examining another concept whose usage has become confused and, at times, diluted: open innovation (Read this column at RTM; follow RTM on Twitter @RTMJournal).
By RTM guest editors Irene J. Petrick, Thierry Rayna, and Ludmila Striukova
The pursuit of intellectual property (IP) that can be protected through patents, copyrights, and trademarks has traditionally formed the cornerstone of many companies’ strategies. The general rule of thumb is that IP, when it is well managed, yields sustainable competitive advantage. Recently, however, patent trolls—companies or individuals that buy up patents in bulk—have used as a weapon the very IP that was supposed to protect companies’ core inventions and provide competitive advantage. Wielding their IP ownership, these trolls have blocked its application in new innovations.