Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich, Room 313
Are the social norms of basic science and the formal rules of the patent system complementary, or conflicting regulations for innovation? In view of the advancing implementation of innovation as the third mission of public basic science, my study investigates scientists’ motivations to patent, as well as their perception of patent-related research impediments. It does so by means of semi-structured interviews among scientists in German public basic research institutes. The reported motives correspond to strategic motives found in industry, but relate to science-specific incentives. Furthermore, the results indicate that while social norms in science compensate potential research impediments created by existing patents, secrecy caused by the intention to patent can create friction with academic norms for cooperation and knowledge sharing. These results are interpreted to indicate that patent functions and effects are not defined by the patent system itself, but at the multiple levels of governance of the socioeconomic system which utilizes patents.
Contact Person: Dr. Fabian Gaessler