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Intellectual property rights (IPRs), particularly patents, occupy a prominent position in innovation systems, but to what extent they support or hinder innovation is widely disputed. Through the lens of biotechnology, this book delves deeply into the main issues at the crossroads of innovation and IPRs to evaluate claims of the positive and negative impacts of IPRs on innovation. An international group of scholars from a range of disciplines - economic geography, health law, business, philosophy, history, public health, management - examine how IPRs actually operate in innovation systems, not just from the perspective of theory but grounded in their global, regional, national, current and historical contexts. In so doing, the contributors seek to uncover and move beyond deeply held assumptions about the role of IPRs in innovation systems. Scholars and students interested in innovation, science and technology policy, intellectual property rights and technology transfer will find this volume of great interest. The findings will also be of value to decision makers in science and technology policy and managers of intellectual property in biotechnology and venture capital firms.