IPR and Catch‐Up: The Case of Taiwan's IC Industry

Hsueh‐Liang Wu, Yi‐Chia Chiu and Ting‐Lin Lee

in Intellectual Property Rights, Development, and Catch-Up

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199574759
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722660 | DOI:
IPR and Catch‐Up: The Case of Taiwan's IC Industry

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This chapter illustrates how the changing roles of intellectual property right regime affected the technological catch‐up of Taiwan, analyzing the case of three semiconductor‐related sectors: IC foundry, DRAM, and IC Design. The study shows that Taiwanese semiconductor firms operated within a framework of institutions, comprised of government agencies including research institutions, inter‐firm linkages, and institutional infrastructure including the IPR regime. Based on a case study of the semiconductor industry, it is argued that, when an industry is far from the technological frontier, weak IPR protection fosters technological development by inducing the path‐following catch‐up, whereas when the industry approaches or already has reached the technological frontier, technological development depends more on spillovers facilitated by global networks of firms rather than on coordination of investment. Consequently, the IPR regime needs to be strengthened and international harmonization becomes necessary.

Keywords: Taiwan; IC; semiconductor; catch‐up; intellectual property; spillover

Chapter.  16483 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Innovation

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