Journal of the National Research University Higher School of Economics




Editorial Board

Peer Reviewing

Publication Ethics


Publication terms

Authors guidelines

Forthcoming articles

ISSN 1995-459X print
E-ISSN 2312-9972 online
ISSN 2500-2597 online English

Leonid Gokhberg


Andrew Keisner1, Julio Raffo2, Sacha Wunsch-Vincent2
  • 1 Amazon, 410 Terry Ave. North, Seattle, WA 98109-5210, USA
  • 2 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), 34 chemin des Colombettes, CH-1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland

Robotics: Breakthrough Technologies, Innovation, Intellectual Property

2016. Vol. 10. No. 2. P. 7–27 [issue contents]
Robotics technology and the increasing sophistication of artificial intelligence are breakthrough innovations with significant growth prospects. They have the potential to disrupt existing socio-economic facets of everyday life. Yet few studies have analysed the development of robotics innovation. This paper closes this gap by analysing current developments in innovation in robotics; how it is diffused, and what role is played by intellectual property (IP). The paper argues that robotics clusters are mainly located in the US and Europe, despite a growing presence in South Korea and China. The robotics innovation ecosystem builds on cooperative networks of actors, including individuals, research institutions, and firms. Governments play a significant role in supporting robotics innovation through funding, military demand, and national robotics strategies. Robotics competitions and prizes provide for an important incentive to innovation. Patents are used to exclude third parties to secure freedom of operation, license technologies, and avoid litigation. The countries with the highest number of patent claims are Japan, China, South Korea, and the US. The growing stock of patents owned by universities and PROs, particularly in China, is noteworthy too. Automotive and electronics companies are still the largest patent filers, but medical technologies and the Internet are emerging as new actors in the field. Secrecy is often used as a tool to appropriate innovation. Copyright protection is relevant to robotics also, mainly for its role in protecting software. Finally, open-source robotics platforms are increasingly used in the early stages of the innovation process as they allow new actors in the robotics field to optimize their initial spending on innovation.
Citation: Keisner A., Raffo J., Wunsch-Vincent S. (2016) Robotics: Breakthrough Technologies, Innovation, Intellectual Property.  Foresight and STI Governance, vol. 10, no 2, pp. 7–27. DOI: 10.17323/1995-459X.2016.2.7.27
Rambler's Top100 rss