Objective: to identify the main features of the impact of the intellectual property institute on the Russian innovation system development using the analysis of theoretical studies and narratives on the impact of intellectual property on innovations.Methods: qualitative methods of analysis of institutions (narrative analysis), analysis of statistical data.Results: the difference between the traditional, mixed and heterodox approaches to substantiating or criticizing the intellectual property institute is shown. To illustrate the ideas of each of the selected approaches, relevant examples of narratives are given, which describe the impact of intellectual property on innovative activity. Based on the study of the global experience in overcoming problems related to intellectual property, it is shown that many countries have long been taking measures to limit the validity of foreign patents in order to support the innovative activity of national enterprises. The analysis of narratives also demonstrates the existence of a typical narrative about the rejection of international patents in the field of medicines production and medical technologies, justified by the state’s concern for the health and safety of the population. Scientific novelty: it consists in applying the methodology of narrative economics to the analysis of intellectual property and its role in the Russian innovation system.Practical significance: the main provisions of the article can be used to review the inefficiency of the existing intellectual property institute and to propose promising ways to reform it.