Article | California Management Review | Summer 2013

Strategic Management of Intellectual Property: An Integrated Approach

by William W. Fisher III and Felix Oberholzer-Gee


In many organizations, the R&D, strategy, and legal functions are poorly integrated. As a consequence, firms miss opportunities to create and exploit the value of intellectual property. Functional silos are one reason for the lack of integration. More important, however, is the lack of a common framework and even language that would allow engineers, lawyers, and business executives to manage IP assets better. This article provides such a framework. There is no one best way to manage IP, and many managers overestimate the attractiveness of using IP to exert market power. Rather, the value of the various means to protect and benefit from IP depends on firm strategy, the competitive landscape, and the rapidly changing contours of intellectual property law.

Keywords: intellectual property; innovation management; strategic management; knowledge management; legal aspects of business; licensing; Law; Innovation and Management; Knowledge Management; Intellectual Property; Business Strategy;


Fisher III, William W., and Felix Oberholzer-Gee. "Strategic Management of Intellectual Property: An Integrated Approach." California Management Review 55, no. 4 (Summer 2013): 157–183.