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Innovating Standards through Informal Consortia: The Case of Wireless Telecommunications

In: Standards, Patents and Innovations

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  • Henry Delcamp
  • Aija Leiponen

Abstract

We empirically examine the effects of industry consortia on the coordination of innovation strategies of the members. Our analyses utilize membership data from 32 consortia in wireless telecommunication technology subfields from 2000 to 2005 and prior art citations in standard-essential patents. We find that connections among firms in informal and technically-oriented consortia significantly increase the likelihood that firms cite each other's patents in subsequent patents essential for the UMTS wireless telecommunication standard. Inventions that are likely to become part of the UMTS system tend to build on inventions by firm peers who were members of the same consortia, controlling for patent or firm fixed effects, technology class, and other characteristics. Consortia may enhance productivity of invention and increase the incentives to invest in R&D by internalizing potential externalities. They may also enhance efficiency of standardization by facilitating the interaction of committee and market processes. Consortia thus structure and constrain the process of innovating standardized technologies. This is problematic if consortia are not truly accessible for all the relevant parties. Policymakers thus need to balance these effects. For managers, the results show that participation in a variety of technical consortia enables influencing peers' innovation strategies related to compatibility standards.
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Suggested Citation

  • Henry Delcamp & Aija Leiponen, 2012. "Innovating Standards through Informal Consortia: The Case of Wireless Telecommunications," NBER Chapters,in: Standards, Patents and Innovations National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:13207
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    Cited by:

    1. Raven, Michael & Blind, Knut, 2017. "The characteristics and impacts of scientific publications in biotechnology research referenced in standards," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 167-179.
    2. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:8:p:1370-1386 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Blind, Knut & Mangelsdorf, Axel, 2016. "Motives to standardize: Empirical evidence from Germany," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 48, pages 13-24.
    4. Wen Wen & Chris Forman & Sirkka Jarvenpaa, 2014. "How Do Open Standards Influence Inventive Activity? Evidence from the IETF," Working Papers 14-20, NET Institute.
    5. Baron, Justus & Ménière, Yann & Pohlmann, Tim, 2014. "Standards, consortia, and innovation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 22-35.
    6. 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.
    7. Tim POHLMANN, 2014. "The Evolution of ICT Standards Consortia," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(95), pages 17-40, 3rd quart.
    8. Kang, Byeongwoo & Bekkers, Rudi, 2015. "Just-in-time patents and the development of standards," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(10), pages 1948-1961.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures

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