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Intellectual property rights, strategic technology agreements and market structure: The case of GSM

  • Bekkers, Rudi
  • Duysters, Geert
  • Verspagen, Bart

This paper investigates the role of intellectual property rights (IPRs) in shaping the GSM industry. Thisindustry is an example of a high-tech industry in which standards play a large role. In the process ofdesigning the GSM standard, a lot of attention has been given to IPRs, mainly to avoid a situation inwhich a single IPR holder could hamper or even totally block the development of the standard.Nevertheless, the ultimate GSM standard contains a large amount of so-called �essential IPRs�, i.e., IPRswithout which the implementation of GSM products is impossible.The paper starts with a general discussion of the development of GSM, and the role of firm strategy andIPRs in this process. Next, we present a database on the essential IPRs in the GSM standard. This databasehas been compiled on the basis of international patent statistics, and the data that manufacturers havesupplied to ETSI, the European standardization body responsible for defining the GSM standard. We usethis database to assess the dynamic IPR position of firms in the original GSM standard and its subsequentdevelopment.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 31 (2002)
Issue (Month): 7 (September)
Pages: 1141-1161

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:31:y:2002:i:7:p:1141-1161
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  1. Duysters, Geert & Vanhaverbeke, Wim, 1996. "Strategic interactions in DRAM and RISC technology: A network approach," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 437-461, December.
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