Innovation and IP Rights in the Chilean Copper Mining Sector: The Role of the Mining, Equipment, Technology and Services Firms
Economic Research Working Paper No. 54
Author(s): Claudio Bravo-Ortega, Juan José Price Elton | Publication year: 2019
This analysis of intellectual property (IP) protection practices among mining equipment, technology and services suppliers (METS) in Chile’s copper mining sector adds to a body of literature that has hitherto focused on high-income countries. It is based on data collated from an online survey of resident METS and on semi-structured interviews of executives from mining companies and suppliers, including two universities. The main conclusion is that, although METS appear to be innovative in relation to the mining sector and the economy as a whole, only a few use intellectual property rights (IPRs) to protect their innovations. The main reasons for this finding appear to be the cost and expected complexity of the registration process. Another noteworthy finding is the view that Chile has the requisite legal IPR expertise, but commercial capabilities (expertise in IPR-based innovation management and business plans) are much less developed. In the last section, four case studies of product and process innovation by four mining suppliers add some interesting insights to the analysis.