Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard-Setting
AbstractIn several key industries, including semiconductors, biotechnology, computer software, and the Internet, our patent system is creating a patent thicket: an overlapping set of patent rights requiring that those seeking to commercialize new technology obtain licenses from multiple patentees. The patent thicket is especially thorny when combined with the risk of hold-up, namely the danger that new products will inadvertently infringe on patents issued after these products were designed. The need to navigate the patent thicket and hold-up is especially pronounced in industries such as telecommunications and computing in which formal standard-setting is a core part of bringing new technologies to market. Cross-licenses and patent pools are two natural and effective methods used by market participants to cut through the patent thicket, but each involves some transaction costs. Antitrust law and enforcement, with its historical hostility to cooperation among horizontal rivals, can easily add to these transaction costs. Yet a few relatively simple principles, such as the desirability package licensing for complementary patents but not for substitute patents, can go a long way towards insuring that antitrust will help solve the problems caused by the patent thicket and by hold-up rather than exacerbating them.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley in its series Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series with number qt4hs5s9wk.
Date of creation: 01 May 2000
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: F502 Haas, Berkeley CA 94720-1922
Phone: (510) 642-1922
Fax: (510) 642-5018
Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/iber_cpc/
More information through EDIRC
patent; patent system; telecommunications; cross-licenses; semiconductors; biotechnology; computer software;
Other versions of this item:
- Carl Shapiro, 2001. "Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard Setting," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 1, pages 119-150 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carl Shapiro, 2004. "Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools and Standard Setting," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000539, David K. Levine.
- Carl Shapiro, 2003. "Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard-Setting," Law and Economics 0303005, EconWPA.
- K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law
- L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies
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.:
- Shapiro, Carl, 1989. "Theories of oligopoly behavior," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 329-414 Elsevier.
- Samuel Kortum & Josh Lerner, 1997.
"Stronger Protection or Technological Revolution: What is Behind the Recent Surge in Patenting?,"
NBER Working Papers
6204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kortum, Samuel & Lerner, Josh, 1998. "Stronger protection or technological revolution: what is behind the recent surge in patenting?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 247-304, June.
- Michael L. Katz & Carl Shapiro, 1994. "Systems Competition and Network Effects," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 93-115, Spring.
- Richard Gilbert & Carl Shapiro, 1997. "Antitrust Issues in the Licensing of Intellectual Property: The Nine No-No's Meet the Nineties," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1997 Micr), pages 283-349.
- Michael L. Katz & Carl Shapiro, 1985. "On the Licensing of Innovations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(4), pages 504-520, Winter.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Propiedad intelectual, monopolios y el laberinto de la innovación
by Cives in Politikon on 2012-06-02 16:50:00
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
- Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Log/2006 July 6 in Wikipedia (English)
- Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Jeff Lindsay (second nomination) in Wikipedia (English)
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.