“It has never been so important to foster the “virtuous circle” leading from Research and Development (R&D) investment to jobs – via innovation, competitive advantage and economic success (…). This process depends on several different factors, but an efficient system of intellectual property rights (IPR) undoubtedly ranks among the most important (…).”[1]

It is clear that the hitherto prevailing reductionist view of IP as a mere legal title does not adequately address the role IP as a complex adaptive system in innovation, as inter alia:

a relationship for  a business tool for  an investment vehicle for 
  • B2B and public-private partnerships;
  • Investors and financial institutions;
  • Technology transfer;
  • Assignment, licensing and franchising;
  • Open access and creative commons
  • Value creation;
  • Revenue streams;
  • Dissemination of knowledge;
  • Freedom to operate;
  • Enforcement
  • Merger and acquisition;
  • Due diligence;
  • Collateral and funding;
  • Taxation;
  • Accounting

As a complex adaptive system, IP requires an architecture capable of accommodating new technologies, cultural and artistic expressions and contribute to innovation in a way that is acceptable and beneficial to society. The complexity of the system can be seen in terms of diverse actors, private, commercial and non-commercial; multifaceted subject matter in material or digital form; governance by inter-sectoral organizations, institutions and public authorities; and overlapping and multi-layered adjudication in commercial, administrative and criminal matters at national, regional and international level, and all of these interacting with a broader economic, legal, societal, and political system. The system also generates interconnections and feedback loops throughout its lifecycle stages, for example works produced and marketed will not only generate income, but also information on consumer preferences. All of this leads to non-linear effects on innovation at global and local level.

[1] European Patent Office and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, Intellectual property rights intensive industries: contribution to economic performance and employment in the European Union, Industry-Level Analysis Report, September 2013.