Revision with unchanged content. Building and sustaining competitive advantage is challenging in a constantly changing business environment ? especially since the sources of such ad?van?tages are increasingly knowledge-based. Facilitated by improved net?works, knowledge spills over to competitors more easily than before. Consequently, protection of intangibles calls for new approaches. Companies have various means of protection at their disposal, and by taking advantage of them they can prevent, or at least delay, imitation. However, creating barriers against imitation has another side to it, and the needed trans?fer of knowledge may be unintentionally obstructed. The aim of this study therefore is to increase understanding of how firms can balance know?ledge protection and sharing so as to benefit most from their knowledge assets. Thus, knowledge protection is approached through an examination of the appropriability regime ? the combination of available and effective means of protecting intangibles and innovations, their profitability, and the in?crea?s?ed rents due to R&D.