Intellectual Property Rights and the Transition to the Knowledge-Based Economy

  • Iain M. Cockburn
  • Paul Chwelos


Intellectual property is perhaps the most important — and often the only —significant asset of knowledge-based enterprises. The legal structure of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) defines not just ownership of these intangible assets, but also their value, and the nature of the markets in which they can be bought and sold. The statutory framework of IPRs, associated jurisprudence, and the institutions which administer them therefore constitute a critical part of the infrastructure of the new knowledge-intensive sectors of the economy. In the transition to a knowledge-based economy, firms’ strategies for creating, managing, and realizing returns from intellectual property will be a key factor in creating wealth and employment. This paper examines the extent to which new technologies and new ways of doing business present challenges for Canada’s current IPR regime, and discusses possible policy responses.


Intellectual Property Digital Content Digital Watermark European Patent Office Compulsory License 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iain M. Cockburn
    • 1
  • Paul Chwelos
    • 2
  1. 1.NBER and Boston University Boston UniversityUSA
  2. 2.University of British ColumbiaCanada

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