Bagheri et al, “Using the crowd for Business Model Innovation: The case of Digikala,” R&D Management.

(Accepted to be published soon)

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On November 15, 2015, Digikala, one of the largest online stores in the Middle East, launched its first-ever crowdsourcing contest called “A glance at tomorrow.” What distinguishes this contest from common crowd-based initiatives is that it was aimed at Business Model Innovation (BMI) rather than product and process innovation. Although using the crowd has proven to be an effective way for firms to boost their product and process innovation, its use for BMI is challenging. Based on real large-scale data from the Digikala’s crowdsourcing contest, this research focuses on the application of crowd-powered solutions in BMI, which has rarely been investigated previously.
Our exploratory case study indicates that the crowd could contribute to the BMI process. Our findings point to a new form of “division of innovation labor” in BMI. Contribution of the crowd in BMI is more likely to be relevant to Value Proposition and Value Delivery, while it might be less relevant to Value Capture and Value Creation. The results also support the notion that crowd-contributor characteristics affect the quality of proposals for BMI. We argue that this line of research could help companies design and implement customized crowd-based initiatives to better support their BMI process.

Bagheri S.K., Di Minin A., Paraboschi A., and Piccaluga A. (2016), “It is not about being generous: Platform leaders and Patent Shelter,” Research-Technology Management, Volume 59, Issue 2, 28-35

(Selected among Top 4 papers of RTM journal in 2016)

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On August 12, 2011, Google filed a request with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the reexamination of two patents used by Lodsys to file lawsuits against several Android coders. The first public move of the Internet giant to defend Android application developers from patent lawsuits, this filing is just one of a growing number of initiatives undertaken by platform leaders to protect independent complementors against patent litigation threats. We examine the emerging evidence on platform leaders’ initiatives to provide patent shelter for their partners, which we argue helps maintain and reinforce the platform ecosystem. Platform leaders’ defensive responses are directed at two different levels: (1) providing umbrella protection to the whole platform, and (2) offering defensive intervention in specific cases. We propose a conceptual framework that categorizes platform leaders’ case-specific reactions under three different scenarios and look at the evolution of patent sheltering over time and the practical implications of its emergence.

Bagheri, S.K., Di Minin, A. and Piccaluga, A. (2015), “Intellectual Property Visionaries of the new business era,” R&D Management conference, Pisa, June 4-6.

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The business word has changed dramatically. Increasing adoption of open-innovation practices, the rise of servitization and the explosion of IP-intensive and IP-enabled business models are among the most recognized changes of the modern global economy. These, inter alia, have led to the increased complexity of IP management beyond what already studied and reported in the literature.
In this paper, we: (1) introduce some of the visionary emerging business practices in IP management; (2) refer at least to one business case for each emerging practice and place each into context; (3) try to locate the identified practices within a widely adopted IP management framework, the Value Hierarchy Pyramid. We argue that many companies have already understood the strategic implications of IP for their businesses. However, the concept of being a visionary firm at the top of the IP management hierarchy needs to be broadened as the existing concept falls short in, at least, two aspects: (1) it limits the changes that future may hold to only new products, technologies and markets, and (2) it extend the low-level defensive approach to IP into the future. Our study shows that the Value Hierarchy Pyramid could be improved to accommodate for the new realities of Open Innovation era.

Bagheri, S.K., Sinha, K.M. and Di Minin, A. (2013), “Who Orchestrates Publicly-Funded Research Networks?” DRUID Conference, Barcelona, Spain, June 17.

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The role of network initiator and network orchestrator in Publicly-Funded Research Networks usually lies over a spectrum. The government acts as an initiator, however, it may select or help in selecting a focal entity and allocate the role of orchestration to it at least partially. The orchestrator may be a systems provider, a university, a research institute, a consulting company, or a user-representative body.
We empirically examine the impact of the position of different types of partners inside Publicly-Funded Research Networks (PFRNs) on the probability of product innovation. The empirical analysis builds on market data from Danish wind power sector in the period 1979-2011, coupled with the data on PFRNs in which the Danish market player systems provider were observed. The analysis is done from network perspective and systems provider’s perspective. Our research showed that if the funding public body is aiming at “new-to-the-market” innovations, it is better to position organizations closer to the market (i.e. systems providers, suppliers, and users) as orchestrator. From systems provider perspective, we found that the probability of commercializing new-to-the-firm innovations is higher when the systems provider is only acting as a network cooperator and not an orchestrator. These findings contribute to better design of public funding schemes and corporate strategy.

Samandarali M., Bagheri S.K., and Di Minin A. (2016), “Regional Innovative Behaviour: Evidence from Iran,” Technological Forecasting and Social Change 122 (2017): 128-138.

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The present paper studied regional innovative behavior in Iran through a spatial knowledge production function approach by employing the principal components analysis (PCA). To this end, the determinants of regional innovative behavior, as measured by the number of Iranian patents granted to resident applicants, were analyzed. In addition to the total number of patents, the effects of the innovative factors were examined on company patents, university patents, and personal patent, separately. Fourteen explanatory variables were converted by PCA into three components: contextual index, industrial index, and low-welfare index. The results showed that the low-welfare index was relatively more important in explaining innovative behaviors at the regional level, while company patents were more sensitive to contextual index. Moreover, the results pointed to the lack of knowledge spillover across Iranian regions.

Bagheri S.K. (2014), “Facilitated access to Iranian patent information,” World Patent Information 37 (2014): 43-47.

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Until recently, the published patent information from the Iranian Patent Office was rather limited. There were no open-to-public databases or gazettes for Iranian patents. The only official statistics available on Iranian patents were the number of filed applications and granted patents in each year, published by the national Patent Office. Lately, however, there has been major progress as the Office has launched its first ever on-line searchable patent database.

This paper gives a general overview of patent disclosure as specified in Iranian patent law and regulations. It then describes what used to be the only way to access patent bibliographic data in Iran. Next, it highlights the new promising initiative and introduces the new online database of the Iranian Patent Office and its search features. Finally, the paper looks at some recent policy initiatives and argues that the Iranian Patent Office is about to experience a major transition to a more efficient organization. Inter alia, this could pave the way for improved and timely access to accurate information on the patents registered in the country.

Bagheri, S.K., Goodarzi, M. and Mahdad, M. (2014), “Effectiveness of Iranian policies on commercialization of patented technologies,” ۴th International Technology Management conference, Kish Island, Iran.

(Achieved the best paper award)

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Commercialization of technologies has attracted increasing attention over the past years due to its role in improving national competitiveness. Iran has not been an exception as the country’s policy-makers have been actively engaged in crafting national policies in order to facilitate and promote commercialization of technologies. The effectiveness of the existing policies in this field, however, has never been properly researched. Our research, based on the careful study of 10 cases of successfully commercialized patented technologies in Iran, aims for the first time to address this gap. Our results indicate that the commercialization process of the studied patented technologies was very much affected by some company/technology-specific characteristics. We show that the two policy measures with the highest perceived effectiveness were the financial supports and the services offered by incubation centers. Our results also show that some of the existing supportive policy measures did not serve the intended purposes and some other measures need to be fine-tuned, as far as the studied cases are concerned.

Bagheri S.K. and Casprini E. (2014), “Intellectual property paradoxes in developing countries: The case of software IP protection in Iran,” Journal of Intellectual Property Rights 19, January, 33-42.

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In the context of developing nations where IP infringement is more common, scholars have started to report at least two paradoxical phenomena related to IP protection: (1) weak appropriability regime despite having fairly good IP laws and regulations, and (2) increased demand for IPRs despite weaknesses of IP system. Beyond these paradoxes, prior research still suffers in varying degree from two common flows: (a) it seemed they either considered de jure or de facto IP laws, but not both, and (b) they do not represent all developing countries, being mostly focused on China, and they are mostly non-empirical.
This paper aims at addressing these gaps by exploring both de jure and de facto software IP protection in Iran as a less-researched developing country. We look at de jure software IP protection and, then, empirically investigate the de facto software IP protection in the country. Our results show that despite having multiple legal mechanisms for protecting software innovations, Iranian software IP developers do not consider the protection offered as effective. However, paradoxically, a vast majority of surveyed software innovators had applied for various available IP rights.

Bagheri S.K. and Di Minin A. (2015), “The changing competitive landscape of the global upstream petroleum industry” , Journal of World Energy Law and Business, Vol. 8, No. 11.

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From the 1920s to the 1960s, seven major International Oil Companies (IOCs) were almost the only market players in the global petroleum industry. Their share of oil and gas reserves, however, fell dramatically from about 85 per cent in 1970 to less than 10 per cent today. Changes in the competitive dynamics of the upstream petroleum industry are, however, less studied areas in the literature. In this article, we conduct a review of previous studies to answer the question: Is the traditional business model of IOCs still valid? We propose a theoretical framework and give a historical account of IOCs erosion and Global National Oil Companies (GNOCs) ascent to the top. Finally, we explore an array of possible future scenarios. We argue that IOCs are not in a position to regain the lost ground if they remain wedded to their traditional business model.

Bagheri, S.K., Nilforoushan, H., Rashtchi, M. and Rezapour, M. (2009), “A new Approach to Technology Roadmapping in the Open Innovation Context,” The Iranian Journal of Science & Technology Policy 2(1), 82-92.

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Given the paradigm shift from Closed Innovation to Open Innovation, there seems to be a need for a systematic mechanism for exploring and evaluating alternative external technologies, as well as the business models that may be appropriate for capturing value from such technologies. Although Traditional Technology Roadmapping (TTRM) used to play an important role in this regard, analyzing its utility in the context of Open Innovation reveals some shortcomings that need to be addressed in order to make the most of the Technology Roadmapping (TRM) concept. This paper elaborates on these limitations and suggests a modified approach, Open Innovation Roadmapping (OIRM), as an effective technological innovation management and planning tool in this new paradigm. The results of the application of the proposed approach in the case of the membrane technology roadmapping at the Research Institute of Petroleum Industry (RIPI) are also presented here. Further practical guidelines are also raised by the authors to give a more practical vision on the approach.

Ghazinoori, S., Abdi, M. and Bagheri, S.K., (2010), “Promoting Nanotechnology Patenting: A new experience in the National Innovation System of Iran,” Journal of Intellectual Property Rights 15, November, 464-473.

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International circumstances, Iran’s special context and its legal system have often been blamed for the relative lack of attention on the part of Iranian scientists towards Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). In spite of these odds, however, the Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council (INIC) launched a programme to overcome existing shortcomings and encourage nanotechnology researchers to protect their inventions in the country and particularly, overseas. The efficiency and effectiveness of this programme are analysed in this paper. In a country without a national IP policy, successful implementation of this programme could pave the way for extending the same mechanism to other technological fields, although it is unlikely that the deficiencies of Iran’s national innovation system could be completely resolved by such sectoral policies.

Bagheri, S.K. (2009), “Are Open Innovation companies challenged by Patent and Competition Laws?” Published as a research paper by World Intellectual Property Organization.

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In this paper, the growing trend toward Open Innovation will be looked at from a patent and competition laws point of view and the potential challenging areas will be explored under four separate titles. Part I of the paper, looks into the hot topic of “optimal scope of patent protection”, the effect of which on the growing demand for open innovation solutions will be examined. In Part II, the concept of “Patent Trolls” will be reviewed and the general attitudes against them among the legal authorities will be explored by looking into the emerging IP-Based Business Models and also Secondary Innovation Markets in Open Innovation context. Part III, takes a look at the “territorial” nature of patent rights and its consequences on Open Innovation companies. Part IV then considers the outward movement of technology from Open Innovation companies, in the form of cross-licensing, patent pooling or simple license-out arrangements, in the light of the limitations posed thereon, from “Competition Law” authorities. In doing so, I will try to identify the potential challenge areas and briefly examine the policy implications thereof. However, pinpointing the possible solutions falls outside the scope of this paper.

Bagheri, S.K., Moradpour, H.A, and Rezapour, M. (2009), “The Iranian Patent Reform,” World Patent Information Journal 31, 32-35.

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The new ‘‘Patent, Industrial Designs, Trademarks Law’ ratified nearly 80 years after the first Iranian patent law, can be considered as a serious reform for the Iranian Intellectual Property system. The key features of the new law, with respect to patenting, that are different from those of the previous one and are intended to make it more compatible with the international norms, including the “Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)” agreement, have been briefly introduced and discussed in this paper to give the reader an overview of the status of the changes in the Iranian IP law.

Rezapour, M., Bagheri S.K., Rashtchi M. and Bakhtiary, M.R. (2007), “Iranian patent system: An introduction,” World Patent Information Journal 29, 250–۲۵۴.

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The history of the Iranian patent law and its up coming changes are described. A short description of the official structure of the Iranian patent office and the procedures for getting an Iranian patent are also described. The status of patenting in Iran is discussed using some recent statistics on the number of filed and granted Iranian patents to resident and non-resident applicants. The accessibility of Iranian patent information and the status of the patent professions are reviewed. Finally, the changes that are currently taking place,
and which are expected to change the overall picture of intellectual property rights (IPRs), in Iran, are outlined. IP-considerations in Iran’s Development Plans have been presented in this respect, to show the orientation of the Iranian officials in IPRs policy making.