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'Essential' Patents, FRAND Royalties and Technological Standards

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  • Dewatripont, Mathias
  • Legros, Patrick

Abstract

In this paper we abandon the usual assumption that patents bring known benefits to the industry or that their benefits are known to all parties. When royalty payments are increasing in one’s patent portfolio, private information about the quality of patents leads to a variety of distortions, in particular the incentives of firms to 'pad' by contributing weak patents. Three main results that emerge from the analysis are that: (i) the threat of court disputes reduces incentives to pad but at the cost of lower production of strong patents; (ii) mitigating this undesirable side-effect calls for a simultaneous increase in the cost of padding, that is, a better filtering of patent applications; (iii) upstream firms have more incentives to pad than vertically-integrated firms which internalize the fact that patent proliferation raises the share of profits going to the upstream segment of the industry but at the expense of its downstream segment. This seems consistent with recent evidence concerning padding.

Suggested Citation

  • Dewatripont, Mathias & Legros, Patrick, 2008. "'Essential' Patents, FRAND Royalties and Technological Standards," CEPR Discussion Papers 6925, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6925
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    Cited by:

    1. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Legros, 2013. "‘Essential’ Patents, FRAND Royalties and Technological Standards," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 913-937, December.
    2. Andrew F. Newman & Patrick Legros, 2011. "Incomplete Contracts and Industrial Organization: A Survey," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-036, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    3. Klaus M. Schmidt, 2014. "Complementary Patents and Market Structure," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 68-88, March.
    4. Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2011. "The quality factor in patent systems," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(6), pages 1755-1793, December.
    5. Belleflamme,Paul & Peitz,Martin, 2015. "Industrial Organization," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107687899, March.
    6. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Pierre M. Picard, 2011. "Patent office Governance and Patent System Quality," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2011-007, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. de Saint-Georges, Matthis & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2013. "A quality index for patent systems," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 704-719.
    8. Picard, Pierre M. & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2013. "Patent office governance and patent examination quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 14-25.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Frand; padding; royalty; Standard setting organization; weak patent;

    JEL classification:

    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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