New Book Chapter

Sustainable innovation and intellectual property rights: friends, foes or perfect strangers?

Carolina Castaldi contributed a chapter in a forthcoming book on Sustainable Innovation, edited by Voinea, Roijakkers and Ooms (

As sustainable innovation becomes a strategy for companies to gain competitive advantage, the question of how to appropriate rents from sustainable innovation becomes central. Surprisingly, little research exists on the appropriation strategies of companies engaged in sustainable innovation and the few studies are poorly connected. This chapter focuses on intellectual property rights (IPR), the formal tools available to companies to protect their intangible assets. The chapter links the three main types of IPRs to common archetypes of sustainable innovation and discusses the motives why companies might file patents, trademarks or design rights or instead choose not to. The chapter concludes by discussing how IPRs might act as incentives, barriers or be simply neglected by sustainable innovators and it offers directions for further research.

A working paper version of the chapter can be downloaded at: