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Patent pool formation: Timing matters

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  • Lévêque, François
  • Ménière, Yann

Abstract

This paper addresses the problem of non-cooperative patent pool formation by owners of patents related to a standard. We develop a model in which competing manufacturers must license several patents to produce standard-compliant goods. Separate licensing creates a double-marginalization problem. Moreover manufacturers must sink a fixed cost to enter the product market, and thus face a hold-up problem if licensing takes place after their entry. In this setting, the formation of a pool fails when it takes place after entry. Instead, we show that allowing patent owners to commit ex ante on joining a pool is an effective way to trigger the emergence of a stable pool solving both the double-marginalization and hold-up problems. Therefore, patent owners should be encouraged to coordinate their licensing policies on a voluntary basis at early stages in the standard-setting process.

Suggested Citation

  • Lévêque, François & Ménière, Yann, 2011. "Patent pool formation: Timing matters," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 243-251.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:23:y:2011:i:3:p:243-251
    DOI: 10.1016/j.infoecopol.2011.07.002
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    1. Josh Lerner & Marcin Strojwas & Jean Tirole, 2007. "The design of patent pools: the determinants of licensing rules," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(3), pages 610-625, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gastón Llanes & Joaquín Poblete, 2014. "Ex Ante Agreements in Standard Setting and Patent‐Pool Formation," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 50-67, March.
    2. 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.

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