The concept of ‘open innovation’ has received a considerable amount of coverage within the academic literature and beyond. Much of this seems to have been without much critical analysis of the evidence. In this paper, we show how Chesbrough creates a false dichotomy by arguing that open innovation is the only alternative to a closed innovation model. We systematically examine the six principles of the open innovation concept and show how the Open Innovation paradigm has created a partial perception by describing something which is undoubtedly true in itself (the limitations of closed innovation principles), but false in conveying the wrong impression that firms today follow these principles. We hope that our examination and scrutiny of the ‘open innovation’ concept contributes to the debate on innovation management and helps enrich our understanding.