Patent pools and non-assertion agreements : coordination mechanisms for multi-party IPR holders in standardization

R.N.A. Bekkers, E. Iverson, K. Blind

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionProfessional

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Paper presented at the EASST 2006 conference, Lausanne, August 23-26th. - The standards setting process relies to an increasing degree on successfully integrating— or otherwise taking into consideration— up-to-date research and development results (R&D). The successful interaction between research and standards can provide important benefits to society. There is however a number of challenges that are currently hampering the successful interaction at the interface between research and standardization. One key and recurrent challenge here is the widely noted need to improve coordination between the private interests broadly associated with research investments and the collective interests which standardization implies. This paper notes that a major concern that has developed at this fault line is how to equitably deal with patents and other IPRs in the standardization frame. This involves a set of challenges, such as how to deal with the continued rise of cumulative licensing scenarios, how to ensure transparency on royalty rates, how to promote and enforce effective methods for declaration, and, more generally, how to effectively manage the IPR policies of standards development organizations, etc. The paper focuses on patent pools in this context. These are mechanisms in which attempts are made to include all the IPR essential to a standard in a bundle. As a coordination mechanism, patent pools might facilitate access to patent and reduce uncertainty, and thus also may remove a barrier to transferring research results to standards. By analyzing patent pools that have been established in the field of consumer electronics (DVD, among others) and the field of telecommunications (UMTS), we aim to understand under what circumstances such pools work out and to what degree (if at all) they improve the interface between research and standards. We also contrast patent pools to an alternative coordination mechanism, the so-called non-assertion covenants.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) 2006 conference, August 23-26, 2006.
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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