Standard-essential patents

Josh Lerner, Jean Tirole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


A major policy issue in standard setting is that patents that are ex ante not that important, by being included into a standard, may become standard-essential patents. In an attempt to curb the monopoly power that they create, most standard-setting organizations require the owners of patents covered by the standard to make a loose commitment to grant licenses on reasonable terms. Such commitments unsurprisingly are conducive to litigation. This paper builds a framework for the analysis of these patents, identifies several types of inefficiencies attached to the lack of price commitments, and shows how structured price commitments restore competition and why such commitments may not arise spontaneously in the marketplace.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-586
Number of pages40
JournalJournal of Political Economy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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