The Drivers of Technology Licensing: An Industry Comparison

by Ulrich Lichtenthaler



In the past, most industrial firms focused on applying technology assets in their own products and services. Along with the trend towards open innovation, however, many firms have recently started to actively license out technology. These firms consider technology licensing a strategic activity, which may include all technology assets and which goes far beyond a marginal activity of commercializing residual technologies. The research collected for this articles shows that the strategic drivers of technology licensing are often more important than generating licensing revenues. The strategic drivers strengthen the interdependences between internally and externally commercializing technology. Product marketing and licensing are complements rather than substitutes in technology exploitation.

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