• The characteristics of intellectual property rights regimes: How formal and informal institutions affect outward FDI location

      Papageorgiadis, N.; McDonald, F.; Wang, Chengang; Konara, P. (2020-02)
      This study examines the institutional arrangements that define the characteristics of national legal systems that are used to protect intellectual property (IP) assets embedded in outward FDI. The focus of the study is on how the institutional underpinnings of IPR regimes affect the costs and risk of using legal arenas to enable effective use of IP assets. Following a property rights approach it is postulated that formal and informal institutional arrangements influence how IP regimes affect the transaction costs and risk associated with converting ownership rights over IP into economic rights. Informal institutions are considered to affect the behaviour of agents involved in enforcing legal rights. This behaviour influences how IP law is implemented in legal arenas and thereby impacts on the efficacy of IPR regimes to help secure economic rights from the use of IP assets. Using data on outward FDI from the USA to 42 host countries the results find that the strength of informal institutions connected to the enforcement of IP in a country directly affects outcomes and positively moderates the effect of formal legal aspects of IP law on FDI flows. The results highlight the importance of informal institutional aspects connected to the behaviour of enforcement agents when using national legal systems to protect IP rights in cross-frontier transactions.