Strategic intellectual property management - From a mean to protect a firm’s knowledge to an imperative for innovation ecosystem orchestration

Key Info

Basic Information

Lehrstuhl für Innovation, Strategie und Organisation
Bachelor; Master


For centuries, patents have been used to protect intellectual property, enabling inventors to commercialize their ideas without fear of being copied by competitors.
While this described use case occurs primarily in a closed innovation environment, the open innovation paradigm spans many other use cases. For example, the systematic publication of patents is used to drive global technology development while enforcing socio-environmental goals (see Tesla), or to highlight a company's innovative power and strengthen its brand (see Bosch, Audi, etc.).
In many business ecosystem strategies, intellectual property protection takes an important place, primarily to sustainably protect the ecosystem value proposition and thus guarantee the value capture by the ecosystem actors (see ARM, Nutriset, etc.). However, the selection and implementation of these strategies require considering context-specific constraints and the weighing of classic strategic trade-offs.
In particular, joint development projects in innovation ecosystems pose significant challenges to strategy work. In addition to the distribution of intellectual property perceived as fair by the ecosystem actors, effective commercialization and further development must be made possible.
This offered thesis aims to investigate intellectual property as a strategic component in innovation ecosystems in more detail. In particular, the research should critically discuss the case of joint technology development. In addition, the thesis must elaborate on the relationship between the ecosystem-wide value proposition and the governance of intellectual property. To shed more light on the problem, contrary phenomena such as the open-source movement can also provide insight.
By completing this thesis, the student should demonstrate the ability to work through a problem using scientific methods and build a deep understanding of the management of intellectual property in innovation ecosystems.

What we offer:
- Intensive collaboration in current BMBF projects, such as "Change through Innovation in the Region (WIR!)".
- You will be part of the team, you will have a workplace at the institute, and you will be invited to our project meetings and team events.
- Interviews, meetings with politicians, meetings with alliances
- You will investigate interesting research topics in future industries - it's not for nothing that innovation fields are more highly funded than ever before
- Room for your own ideas and interests - both methodologically and in terms of content
- For your further career, you can make contacts in politics and the private sector through your practical work, or recommend yourself for a doctorate with us

If you are enthusiastic about the topic, please send your CV, a short cover letter and a recent grade summary to

Keywords: IP, Intellectual Property, Innovation, Innovation Ecosystems, Strategy, Ecosystems, Value Proposition