Corbel, P. and Chevreuil, S. « Le brevet : un instrument de gestion à l’articulation entre exploration et exploitation », Journée transdisciplinaire de recherche AIMS/AGRH « gérer la tension entre exploitation/exploration : quel management de l’innovation ? », Annecy, September 2008
This contribution aims to show that the potential impact of patents on companies' ability to develop both exploration and exploitation capabilities goes far beyond simply protecting technological innovations from imitation. It is based on the cross-referencing of some of the recent literature on patents and a combination of three qualitative empirical studies aimed collectively at gaining a better understanding of the different roles of patents. Patents play, effectively or potentially, a role in the search for innovative technological solutions, in the formalisation of these solutions, in their dissemination within the company, in their incorporation into products, and even in the involvement of certain design office staff in their company. We attempt to conceptualise these interactions around a value chain centred on knowledge, and then to lay the foundations for an analysis of the patent as a specific management tool.