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An ecosystem-based analysis of design innovation infringements: South Korea and China in the global tire industry

Jung Kwan Kim () and Ram Mudambi ()
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Jung Kwan Kim: Temple University

Journal of International Business Policy, 2020, vol. 3, issue 1, No 3, 38-57

Abstract: Abstract Formal intellectual property right (IPR) protections under global agreements are a policy linchpin of the new global knowledge economy. However, we observe that while some emerging-economy firms have successfully transitioned from imitation to innovation, others persist in imitation, sometimes resulting in IPR violations. In this paper, we study design innovation in the global tire industry, focusing on South Korean and Chinese firms, and uncover IPR violations by both groups. However, by the 2000s, Korean tire firms had transitioned to developing their own design innovations while Chinese firms persisted in imitation, as evidenced by continuing IP lawsuits. We trace this difference to the fact that South Korea is home to globally successful multinational automobile manufacturers, whereas China is not. These automobile multinationals function as “keystone organizations” in a national industry ecosystem and are critical to facilitating the transition to innovation. Our study emphasizes the importance of linkages to keystone organizations as crucial elements supporting operations that comply with global IP regulations.

Keywords: intellectual property rights; property rights infringements; global tire industry; China; Korea; TRIPS (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1057/s42214-019-00038-5

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