Ownership matters: intellectual property and the privatization of British defense research establishments

Research Policy

This paper discusses a conflict between private defence firms and government procurement agencies related to Intellectual
Property management issues that emerged during the privatization process of the main UK defence research establishment. Our
analysis questions a common argument found in studies of the defence industries: that a close confluence of interests exists
between private suppliers and their public customers, so much so that the boundaries between public and private actors become
blurred. Instead, we argue that the tensions between private suppliers and their government customers are jeopardizing the success
of process innovations in defence procurement that rely on ?partnership? and collaboration between defence and government
customers and users.