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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics