Intellectual Property Rights Can Either Help or Hinder Innovation, According to Latest Kauffman Policy Digest

Digest includes overview of types of IP protection, the dangers of weak and strong patents and how to strike the right balance

(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) April 7, 2015 – Government-granted rights allow creators to profit from their work while enabling others to build on and benefit from these innovations. But according to a new Entrepreneurship Policy Digest released today by the Kauffman Foundation, although intellectual property protections can increase productivity and firm valuations, they also can be inefficient and hinder innovation if they are too weak or too strong.

The Policy Digest offers an overview of how policymakers can strike the right balance with a "Goldilocks approach," which includes:

  • Encouraging follow-on innovation by protecting those who avoid existing patents and punishing those who ignore them
  • Reducing the prevalence of ambiguous or broad patents, which increase the likelihood of accidental but costly infringement
  • Dramatically increasing maintenance fees to discourage patents that are held but not practiced

Read the full Digest here >

The Kauffman Foundation's Policy Digests consist of summaries of findings around relevant policy issues that will inform and educate policymakers. To read the entire Policy Digest on intellectual property and to sign up to receive subsequent Digests, go to