Journal : British Food Journal , vol. 124 , p. 1959–1974–15 , 2022
Publisher : Emerald Group Publishing Limited
International Standard Numbers
Printed : 0007-070X
Electronic : 1758-4108
Publication type : Academic article
Issue : 6
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The purpose of this paper was to study how public regulation promotes or hinders openness in the food industry, specifically how European novel food regulation has affected external ties among novel food pioneers seen through patents and their inventors. Design/methodology/approach A multiphase mixed-methods design was used to combine data as follows: Worldwide patents originating from Norwegian novel food pioneers 2004–2019, downloaded through the European Patent Office database. Application data and interviews were analysed together with substantial information on 88 patents. Findings Firms use patenting and novel food applications as part of a wider intellectual property rights strategy to guard against unintended spillovers and to shape external collaboration. Examinations of patents indicate a pattern of selective partnership with research and development (R&D) providers. Practical implications Food industry actors can combine property rights strategies to maintain a pattern of openness and external collaboration. R&D providers should consider the food industry's flag-planting strategies by integrating these into contractual regulations. Originality/value Little is known earlier about how novel food pioneers collaborate with suppliers, research actors, governmental actors, distributors and customers regarding new product development.