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IPR-beachheads. Babcock & Wilcox's business and innovation strategies in Spain

Patricio Saiz ()
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Patricio Saiz: Departamento de Análisis Económico: Teoría Económica e Historia Económica. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

No 2015/01, Working Papers in Economic History from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History)

Abstract: During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, American corporations began their multinational expansion to Europe through direct investments in the most-developed economies. Being increasingly aware of scientific and technological knowledge business value, they also began to develop early IPR international protection strategies in order to defend their intangible assets abroad. Before World War II, many of these multinationals had also reached lagging peripheral countries, resulting in a complex European network of subsidiaries and affiliates that has been scarcely studied. This paper delves into the Babcock & Wilcox entrepreneurial conglomerate – one of the most interesting case studies of early multinational expansion – to analyze how it arrived and developed in Spain, what its business and innovation strategies in that market were, and the role of patent management in that process. Our findings reveal that corporate interests in patent capture, control, and administration not only shifted research and innovation handling within firms but also led to quick learning on how to successfully use IPRs as business, legal, and organizational tools for international expansion.

Keywords: Babcock & Wilcox; patents; foreign investments; Spain (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F23 N84 O32 O33 O34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 28 pages
Date: 2015-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-his, nep-ino, nep-ipr, nep-pr~ and nep-sbm
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:uam:wpapeh:201501

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