To standardise or to patent? Development of a decision making tool and recommendations for young companies
Young companies need support concerning decisions related to intellectual properties. Entrepreneurs can resort to a menu of strategies, not only patenting. First, we explore the literature on standardisation and patenting and relate it to entrepreneurship to identify the internal and external influencing factors as well as the motives and risks related to decision making. Then, we conduct five case studies to explore these influencing factors, while trying to reconstruct the decision making process. We find five main factors: technology, resources, knowledge protection vs. knowledge diffusion, need for partnerships, and pace of innovation. Companies should use patents when their technology is patentable and knowledge protection is perceived essential. Standardisation is suitable when knowledge diffusion is more important than protection, and companies look for establishing new partnerships. These insights are integrated into a decision tree that provides guidance to you ng entrepreneurs to make an informed decision regarding intellectual properties.