Published 2022

Read in Norwegian

Publication details

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

Contributors : Grimsby, Sveinung; Gulbrandsen, Magnus

Issue : 6

Research areas

Food processing technologies

Resource management

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Kjetil Aune
Chief Librarian


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.