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Filing behaviour regarding essential patents in industry standards

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  • Berger, Florian
  • Blind, Knut
  • Thumm, Nikolaus
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    Abstract

    This article addresses companies’ filing behaviour in respect of patents relevant for standard-setting (“essential patents”). We discuss applicants’ incentives to achieve conformity of patent applications with technology standards under development. Based on these incentive structures, we hypothesise that the claims of essential patents are amended more often than those of comparable patents. Additionally, we argue that applicants have incentives to delay the grant decision. As a result, essential patents are hypothesised to have longer pendency times than comparable patents. This implies more possibilities for applicants to exploit the flexibility within the patent application process to amend the claims of pending patent applications. For empiric validation, we use procedural patent data from the European patent application process. We adopt a one-to-one matching approach, pairing essential patents in telecommunications with control patents on the matching criteria of technology class, filing date and applicant name. Additionally, we compare these essentials with patents from companies that do not hold standards-relevant patents. We detect higher numbers of claims and amendments to claims as well as other relevant characteristics for the essential patents. Using survival analysis, we show that the higher numbers of amendments and claims and the higher share of X references are responsible for higher pendency times, since they significantly decrease hazard rates in the survival analysis. We discuss the general implications for the functioning of the patent system and address the detrimental effects caused by the high degree of uncertainty generated by these filing strategies. Possible solutions such as better co-ordination are devised.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

    Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 216-225

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:41:y:2012:i:1:p:216-225

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

    Related research

    Keywords: Intellectual property rights; Patent strategy; Standards; Telecommunication;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Wipo, 2009. "World Intellectual Property Indicators, 2009 edition," WIPO Economics & Statistics Series, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division, number 2009:941.
    2. Blind, Knut & Thumm, Nikolaus, 2004. "Interrelation between patenting and standardisation strategies: empirical evidence and policy implications," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1583-1598, December.
    3. Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2006. "Claiming more: the increased voluminosity of patent applications and its determinants," Working Papers CEB 06-018.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Bekkers, Rudi & West, Joel, 0. "The limits to IPR standardization policies as evidenced by strategic patenting in UMTS," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 80-97, February.
    5. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1988. "Coordination through Committees and Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(2), pages 235-252, Summer.
    6. Blind, Knut & Edler, Jakob & Frietsch, Rainer & Schmoch, Ulrich, 2006. "Motives to patent: Empirical evidence from Germany," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 655-672, June.
    7. Aija Elina Leiponen, 2008. "Competing Through Cooperation: The Organization of Standard Setting in Wireless Telecommunications," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(11), pages 1904-1919, November.
    8. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2004. "Patent Quality and Research Productivity: Measuring Innovation with Multiple Indicators," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 441-465, 04.
    9. Marc Rysman & Timothy Simcoe, 2008. "Patents and the Performance of Voluntary Standard-Setting Organizations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(11), pages 1920-1934, November.
    10. Guellec, Dominique & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2007. "The Economics of the European Patent System: IP Policy for Innovation and Competition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199216987.
    11. Carl Shapiro, 2003. "Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard-Setting," Law and Economics 0303005, EconWPA.
    12. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2005. "Patents, Citations, and Innovations: A Window on the Knowledge Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026260065x, January.
    13. Benjamin Chiao & Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2007. "The rules of standard-setting organizations: an empirical analysis," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(4), pages 905-930, December.
    14. Colin Webb & Hélène Dernis & Dietmar Harhoff & Karin Hoisl, 2005. "Analysing European and International Patent Citations: A Set of EPO Patent Database Building Blocks," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2005/9, OECD Publishing.
    15. Dietmar Harhoff & Stefan Wagner, 2009. "The Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(12), pages 1969-1984, December.
    16. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2006. "A Model of Forum Shopping," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1091-1113, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Christian Le Bas & Julien Pénin, 2014. "Patents and innovation : Are the brakes broken, or how to restore patents’ dynamic efficiency ?," Working Papers of BETA 2014-02, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    2. Byeongwoo Kang & Rudi Bekkers, 2013. "Just-in-time inventions and the development of standards: How firms use opportunistic strategies to obtain standard-essential patents (SEPs)," Working Papers 13-01, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies, revised Feb 2013.
    3. Byeongwoo Kang & Rudi Bekkers, 2013. "Just-in-time inventions and the development of standards: How firms use opportunistic strategies to obtain standard-essential patents (SEPs)," Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS) working paper series 13-01, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS), revised Feb 2013.

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