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An empirical study on the determinants of essential patent claims in compatibility standards

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  • Bekkers, Rudi
  • Bongard, René
  • Nuvolari, Alessandro

Abstract

In the field of compatibility standards, an increasing number of companies claim to own so-called essential patents (i.e. those patents that are indispensable for designing and manufacturing products conforming to the standard). It is widely believed that the ownership of such patents is a very valuable bargaining tool in cross-license negotiations, while for non-producing firms such patents may result in a substantial stream of licensing revenues. In this paper we study the determinants of essential patent claims in compatibility standards. In particular, we assess the role of two main factors: the significance of the technological solution contained in the patent and the involvement of the applicant of the patent in the standardisation process. We examine the case of W-CDMA, one of the most successful standards in mobile telecommunications. We compare the patents claimed essential for this standard with a control group of randomly selected, unclaimed patents covering the same time period and technology classes. We find empirical evidence that both factors have significant impact on the probability that a patent is claimed as essential, but the involvement in the standardisation process is a stronger determinant than the technical value ('merit') of the patent. On the basis of our findings, we offer policy recommendations.

Suggested Citation

  • Bekkers, Rudi & Bongard, René & Nuvolari, Alessandro, 2011. "An empirical study on the determinants of essential patent claims in compatibility standards," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1001-1015, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:40:y:2011:i:7:p:1001-1015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Giuliani, Elisa & Martinelli, Arianna & Rabellotti, Roberta, 2016. "Is Co-Invention Expediting Technological Catch Up? A Study of Collaboration between Emerging Country Firms and EU Inventors," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 192-205.
    2. 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).
    3. Delcamp, Henry & Leiponen, Aija, 2014. "Innovating standards through informal consortia: The case of wireless telecommunications," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 36-47.
    4. Rudi Bekkers & Arianna Martinelli & Federico Tamagni, 2016. "The causal effect of including standards-related documentation into patent prior art: evidence from a recent EPO policy change," LEM Papers Series 2016/11, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    5. Kang, Byeongwoo & Motohashi, Kazuyuki, 2015. "Essential intellectual property rights and inventors’ involvement in standardization," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 483-492.
    6. G. Kaa & M. J. Greeven, 2017. "Mobile telecommunication standardization in Japan, China, the United States, and Europe: a comparison of regulatory and industrial regimes," Telecommunication Systems: Modelling, Analysis, Design and Management, Springer, vol. 65(1), pages 181-192, May.
    7. Gandal, Neil & Régibeau, Pierre, 2014. "SSOs: Current Policy Issues and Empirical Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 9849, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. DANG, Jianwei & KANG, Byeongwoo & DING, Ke, 2016. "Landscape of standard essential patents : The case of East Asian countries," IIR Working Paper 16-12, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    9. Byeongwoo Kang & Rudi Bekkers, 2013. "Just-in-time inventions and the development of standards: How firms use opportunistic strategies to obtain standard-essential patents (SEPs)," Working Papers 13-01, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies, revised Feb 2013.
    10. 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.
    11. repec:bla:stratm:v:38:y:2017:i:11:p:2213-2236 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:7:p:1234-1254 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Kang, Byeongwoo & Bekkers, Rudi, 2015. "Just-in-time patents and the development of standards," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(10), pages 1948-1961.
    14. G. Kaa & M. J. Greeven, 0. "Mobile telecommunication standardization in Japan, China, the United States, and Europe: a comparison of regulatory and industrial regimes," Telecommunication Systems: Modelling, Analysis, Design and Management, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-12.
    15. Rudi Bekkers & Christian Catalini & Arianna Martinelli & Cesare Righi & Timothy Simcoe, 2017. "Disclosure Rules and Declared Essential Patents," NBER Working Papers 23627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Nambisan, Satish, 2013. "Industry technical committees, technological distance, and innovation performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 928-940.
    17. Byeongwoo KANG & MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki, 2012. "Determinants of Essential Intellectual Property Rights for Wireless Communications Standards: Manufacturing firms vs. non-manufacturing patentees," Discussion papers 12042, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    18. Nizar Abdelkafi & Sergiy Makhotin & Marina Thuns & Anna Pohle & Knut Blind, 2016. "To Standardise Or To Patent? Development Of A Decision Making Tool And Recommendations For Young Companies," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 20(08), pages 1-30, December.

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