• Arthur A. Boni John R. Thorne Distinguished Career Professor of Entrepreneurship,Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University



IP, open innovation, open source, business model


Abstract – In this article, we address the issues that are involved when developing a strategy for commercializing a discovery that is novel, useful, and non-obvious to someone skilled in the art.  Patent(s) may be used as one means of providing a competitive advantage, and in addition this method is quite common as a means to monetize the intellectual asset.  Alternatively, a more “open-source†method may be employed as is more typical in dealing with software products or services – thereby opening up the field to collaboration and widespread use.  However, other means must then be developed to monetize the asset whether it involves a “hardware†component, software, or both. We argue that to answer these questions, one needs to be very strategic in framing the business model that would be most successful in commercializing the particular discovery keeping in mind that wide dissemination of the innovation is the objective. We focus on issues prevalent for innovation in biopharma, medtech, and medical IT, where high risk, long life cycle, capital-intensive investments are required for commercial introduction.



Landry, John and Rajiv Gupta (2000), “Profiting from Open Sourceâ€, Harvard Business Review, (HBS Product F005030pdf.eng).

Robert A. Bergelman and Philip Meza (2001), Harvard Business School Product SM85-pdf.eng, “Open Source Software Challenge in 2001â€

Osterwalder, Alexander and Pigneur, Yves, Business Model Generation, Wiley

Vance, Ashley (2009), “The Open Source Business Model for Business is Elusiveâ€, New York Times, Published November 29, 2009.

DiMasi, J. and Grobowski, H. (2007), “The Cost of Biopharmaceutical R&D: Is Biotech Different?, Managerial and Decision Economics, No. 28, 469-479. Also see Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, Tufts CSDD Impact Report 10, No. 1 (2008)

Chesbrough, Henry (2006), Open Innovation, the New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology, Harvard Business School Press

Chesbrough, Henry (2006), Open Innovation Business Models, How to Thrive in the New Innovation Landscape, Harvard Business School Press

Christensen, Clayton M. and Raynor, Michael, E., (2003), The Innovators Solution, Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth, Harvard Business School Press. Also see Christensen, Clayton M., Anthony, Scott D., and Roth, Erika, “Seeing What’s Nextâ€, HBS Press (2004)

Burns, Lawton Robert, Editor (2012) The Business of Healthcare Innovation, 2nd Edition, Cambridge University Press

Pisano, Gary P. (2006) Science Business, The Promise, The Reality, and the Future of Biotech, Harvard Business School Press

Boni, Arthur A. (2012), J. Commercial Biotechnology, Vol. 18, No. 2

Gaynor, Pamela, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (July 9, 2000). Also see news/20000709spot4asp.