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To join or not to join: Examining patent pool participation and rent sharing rules


  • Layne-Farrar, Anne
  • Lerner, Josh


In recognition that participation in modern patent pools is voluntary, we present empirical evidence on participation rates and the factors that drive the decision to join a pool, including the profit sharing rules adopted by the pool's founders. In most participation contexts, the at-risk group is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to identify. For pools centered on technologies that result from a standard-setting process, in contrast, we are able to identify a relatively unambiguous population of patents eligible for inclusion but that have not been included in the pool. We find that vertically integrated firms, with patents and downstream operations, are more likely to join a patent pool and among those firms that do join, those with relatively symmetric patent contributions (in terms of value) to a standard appear more likely to accept numeric patent share rules for dividing royalty earnings.

Suggested Citation

  • Layne-Farrar, Anne & Lerner, Josh, 2011. "To join or not to join: Examining patent pool participation and rent sharing rules," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 294-303, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:29:y:2011:i:2:p:294-303

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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.
    2. Aoki, Reiko & Nagaoka, Sadao, 2004. "The Consortium Standard and Patent Pools," Economic Review, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 55(4), pages 345-357, January.
    3. Manuel Trajtenberg, 1990. "A Penny for Your Quotes: Patent Citations and the Value of Innovations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 172-187, Spring.
    4. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2004. "Efficient Patent Pools," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 691-711, June.
    5. Marc Rysman & Timothy Simcoe, 2008. "Patents and the Performance of Voluntary Standard-Setting Organizations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(11), pages 1920-1934, November.
    6. 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.
    7. Lanjouw, Jean O & Pakes, Ariel & Putnam, Jonathan, 1998. "How to Count Patents and Value Intellectual Property: The Uses of Patent Renewal and Application Data," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 405-432, December.
    8. Pakes, Ariel S, 1986. "Patents as Options: Some Estimates of the Value of Holding European Patent Stocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 755-784, July.
    9. 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.
    10. Shapiro, Carl, 2006. "Injunctions, Hold-Up, and Patent Royalties," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt6px3m1rb, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    11. Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson & Adam Jaffe, 1997. "University Versus Corporate Patents: A Window On The Basicness Of Invention," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 19-50.
    12. Dietmar Harhoff & Francis Narin & F. M. Scherer & Katrin Vopel, 1999. "Citation Frequency And The Value Of Patented Inventions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 511-515, August.
    13. Scherer, F. M. & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2000. "Technology policy for a world of skew-distributed outcomes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 559-566, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fosfuri, A. & Helmers, C. & Roux, C., 2012. "Are joint patents collusive? Evidence from the US and Europe," Discussion Paper 2012-035, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    2. Hussinger, Katrin & Schwiebacher, Franz, 2013. "The value of disclosing IPR to open standard setting organizations," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-060, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Hiroshi Kitamura & Noriaki Matsushima & Misato Sato, 2013. "How Does Downstream Firms' Efficiency Affect Exclusive Supply Agreements?," ISER Discussion Paper 0878r, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, revised Sep 2015.
    4. Dr Chiara Rosazza Bondibene, 2012. "A Study of Patent Thickets," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 401, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    5. repec:bpj:jbvela:v:12:y:2017:i:1:p:101-121:n:4 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Chryssoula Pentheroudakis & Justus A. Baron, 2016. "Licensing Terms of Standard Essential Patents: A Comprehensive Analysis of Cases," JRC Working Papers JRC104068, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    7. Miao, Chun-Hui, 2016. "Licensing a technology standard," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 33-61.
    8. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Helmers, Christian, 2013. "Innovation and diffusion of clean/green technology: Can patent commons help?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 33-51.
    9. Gandal, Neil & Régibeau, Pierre, 2014. "SSOs: Current Policy Issues and Empirical Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 9849, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Yu-Hui Wang, 2016. "Identifying competitive intelligence of collaborative intellectual property alliances: analytic platform and case studies," Information Systems and e-Business Management, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 491-505, August.
    11. Reisinger, Markus & Tarantino, Emanuele, 2016. "Patent Pools in Input Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 11512, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Baron, Justus & Ménière, Yann & Pohlmann, Tim, 2014. "Standards, consortia, and innovation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 22-35.
    13. Gallini, Nancy, 2014. "Cooperating with competitors: Patent pooling and choice of a new standard," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 4-21.
    14. repec:dpr:wpaper:0878 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Justus Baron & Yann Ménière & Tim Pohlmann, 2012. "Joint innovation in ICT standards: How consortia drive the volume of patent filings," Working Papers hal-00707291, HAL.
    16. Andrei Hagiu & David B. Yoffie, 2013. "The New Patent Intermediaries: Platforms, Defensive Aggregators, and Super-Aggregators," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 45-66, Winter.
    17. Arijit Mukherjee, 2013. "Patent pool under endogenous technology choice," Discussion Paper Series 2013_07, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Jul 2013.
    18. Kim, Bongsun & Kim, Eonsoo & Miller, Douglas J. & Mahoney, Joseph T., 2016. "The impact of the timing of patents on innovation performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 914-928.
    19. Koh, Ping-Sheng & Reeb, David M., 2015. "Missing R&D," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 73-94.
    20. 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.


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