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Robotics: Breakthrough Technologies, Innovation, Intellectual Property

Andrew Keisner, Julio Raffo and Sacha Wunsch-Vincent ()

Foresight-Russia Форсайт, 2016, vol. 10, issue 2 (eng), 7-27

Abstract: Robotics technology and the increasing sophistication of artifi cial intelligence are breakthrough innovations with signifi cant growth prospects. Th ey have the potential to disrupt existing socio-economic facets of everyday life. Yet few studies have analysed the development of robotics innovation. Th is paper closes this gap by analysing current developments in innovation in robotics; how it is diff used, and what role is played by intellectual property (IP). Th e paper argues that robotics clusters are mainly located in the US and Europe, despite a growing presence in South Korea and China. Th e robotics innovation ecosystem builds on cooperative networks of actors, including individuals, research institutions, and fi rms. Governments play a signifi cant role in supporting robotics innovation through funding, military demand, and national robotics strategies. Robotics competitions and prizes provide an important incentive for innovation. Patents are used to exclude third parties to secure freedom of operation, license technologies, and avoid litigation. Th e countries with the highest number of patent claims are Japan, China, South Korea, and the US. Th e growing stock of patents owned by universities and PROs, particularly in China, is noteworthy too. Automotive and electronics companies are still the largest patent fi lers, but medical technologies and the Internet are emerging as new actors in the fi eld. Secrecy is oft en used as a tool to appropriate innovation. Copyright protection is relevant to robotics also, mainly for its role in protecting soft ware. Finally, open-source robotics platforms are increasingly used in the early stages of the innovation process as they allow new actors in the robotics fi eld to optimize their initial spending on innovation.

Keywords: robotics; robot; artifi cial intelligence; innovation; patent; trade secret; intellectual property; copyright (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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