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Competing on Standards? Entrepreneurship, Intellectual Property and the Platform Paradox

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  • Timothy S. Simcoe
  • Stuart J.H. Graham
  • Maryann Feldman

Abstract

This paper studies the intellectual property strategy of firms that participate in the formal standards process. Specifically, we examine litigation rates in a sample of patents disclosed to thirteen voluntary Standard Setting Organizations (SSOs). We find that SSO patents have a relatively high litigation rate, and that SSO patents assigned to small firms are litigated more often than those of large publicly-traded firms. We also estimate a series of difference-in-differences models and find that small-firm litigation rates increase following a patent's disclosure to an SSO while those of large firms remain unchanged or decline. We interpret this result as evidence of a "platform paradox" -- while small entrepreneurial firms rely on open standards to lower the fixed cost of innovation, these firms are also more likely to pursue an aggressive IP strategy that may undermine the openness of a new standard.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy S. Simcoe & Stuart J.H. Graham & Maryann Feldman, 2007. "Competing on Standards? Entrepreneurship, Intellectual Property and the Platform Paradox," NBER Working Papers 13632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13632
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Galasso, Alberto & Schankerman, Mark, 2008. "Patent thickets and the market for innovation: evidence from settlement of patent disputes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25474, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Anne Layne-Farrar & Gerard Llobet & Jorge Padilla, 2014. "Payments and Participation: The Incentives to Join Cooperative Standard Setting Efforts," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 24-49, March.
    3. Miller, Amalia R. & Tucker, Catherine, 2014. "Health information exchange, system size and information silos," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 28-42.
    4. Fehder, Daniel C. & Murray, Fiona & Stern, Scott, 2014. "Intellectual property rights and the evolution of scientific journals as knowledge platforms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 83-94.
    5. Catherine Tucker & Amalia Miller, 2009. "System Size, Lock-in and Network Effects for Patient Records," Working Papers 09-07, NET Institute, revised Sep 2009.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
    • L17 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Open Source Products and Markets
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • 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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