Keywords: appropriability of innovations, innovation management, new product development, patents, competitive advantages, Germany
Appropriability of product innovations: an empirical analysis for Germany
This paper analyses the perceived effectiveness of patents and other means of appropriation for protecting the competitive advantages of new products. Data were obtained from the "Mannheim Innovation Panel", which includes more than 1800 German-based firms with at least some new product development activities. In line with past research in the USA and several European countries, we found for Germany that, on average, patents are a rather ineffective appropriation tool. However, we identified one cluster of firms accounting for about 20% of all firms, where patents are perceived as the most effective mechanisms of appropriation. We further analysed, by means of logistic regression, how this cluster can be characterised and by what factors the perceived effectiveness of patents as a method of appropriation are moderated.