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Private Agreements for Coordinating Patent Rights: The Case of Patent Pools

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  • Gallini, Nancy

Abstract

Inventors and users of technology often enter into cooperative agreements for sharing their intellectual property in order to implement a standard or to avoid costly litigation. Over the past two decades, U.S. antitrust authorities have viewed pooling arrangements that integrate complementary, valid and essential patents as having procompetitive benefits in reducing prices, transactions costs, and the incidence of legal suits. Since patent pools are cooperative agreements, they also have the potential of suppressing competition if, for example, they harbor weak or invalid patents, dampen incentives to conduct research on innovations that compete with the pooled patents, foreclose competition from downstream product or upstream input markets, or raise prices on goods that compete with the pooled patents. In synthesizing the ideas advanced in the economic literature, this paper explores whether these antitrust concerns apply to pools with complementary patents and, if they do, the implications for competition policy to constrain them. Special attention is given to the application of the U.S. Department of Justice‐Federal Trade Commission Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property (1995) and its companion Antitrust Enforcement and Intellectual Property Rights: Promoting Innovation and Competition (2007) to recent patent pool cases.

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File URL: http://polis.unipmn.it/pubbl/RePEc/uca/ucaiel/iel005.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS in its series IEL Working Papers with number 5.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uca:ucaiel:5

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Web page: http://polis.unipmn.it

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Keywords: patents; patent pools; intellectual property;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Alberto Cassone & Giovanni Ramello, 2011. "The simple economics of class action: private provision of club and public goods," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 205-224, October.
  2. Dequiedt, Vianney & Versaevel, Bruno, 2013. "Patent pools and dynamic R&D incentives," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 59-69.
  3. Ryan L. Lampe & Petra Moser, 2012. "Do Patent Pools Encourage Innovation? Evidence from 20 U.S. Industries under the New Deal," NBER Working Papers 18316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2013. "Standard-Essential Patents," TSE Working Papers 13-441, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised 13 Mar 2014.
  5. Ralph Siebert, 2013. "Are Ex Ante and Ex Post Licensing Agreements Useful Instruments to Lessen Uncertainty in R&D?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4535, CESifo Group Munich.

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