Keywords: intellectual property, R&, D protection, knowledge management, biotechnology, competitive advantage, Spain, health sectors, intangible assets, appropriate technology
Knowledge management and technology appropriability regimes: an analysis of Spanish health biotech firms
Technology is one of the most important of all intangible assets, and thus cornerstone of a firm's competitiveness and its knowledge management strategy. It is necessary to review the various strategies that research-intensive firms can pursue so as to build a sustainable competitive advantage upon the foundation of technological intangible assets and to protect their R&D process outcomes. The protection role of intellectual property is questioned, due to the complexity and systemic dimension of modern technologies and its legal foundations. Protection strategies analyse intellectual property rights as barriers to entry, and a firm's ability to either exploit first mover advantages or to continuously perform innovation processes. The study reviews the theoretical bases of the interrelationship between protection alternatives, technological strategy and the nature of technological knowledge in research innovative firms. Finally, they are implemented in a sample of Spanish firms exploiting biotechnological techniques in health sectors.