Innovation and the management of intellectual capital are playing an increasingly important role in competition in high-technology industries. To operate in markets where innovation is cumulative, such as in electronics and semiconductors, firms frequently need to engage in extensive licensing and cross-licensing. This need is amplified by recent increases in the strength of patent protection and by the more active licensing stance of intellectual property owners. A high-quality patent portfolio not only reflects the firm's inventive capacity, but may significantly increase its crosslicensing bargaining ability and reduce royalty payments. In addition, it may directly contribute to its product and process innovation.
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