Anand B., Galetovic A. (2004).

Strategies that work when property rights don’t. In Libecap G. D., Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship, Volume 15, pp. 261-304. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.



In many sectors property rights over knowledge and information are weak as they are embodied in employees, competitors can copy or customers can pirate. Yet comprehensive studies show that firms systematically invest in these assets. We offer a simple taxonomy of strategies that firms use to cope with weak property rights. We classify these strategies in three groups:(i) Some firms threaten offenders with strong competition.(ii) Other firms exploit complementarities and offer potential offenders a better deal than they can get elsewhere.(iii) And yet other firms exploit weak property rights and make profits on complementary assets or products that they can own. We go beyond taxonomy by showing when a particular strategy works. It depends systematically on the characteristics of both the asset and the investing firm.