To Join or Not to Join: Examining Patent Pool Participation and Rent Sharing Rules
Charles River Associates
Harvard Business School - Finance Unit; Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
January 7, 2008
The theoretical analyses of patent pools almost exclusively assume that participation is automatic - any firm with a relevant patent and an option to join a patent pool is assumed to do so. But allowing firms to opt out of patent pools is a far more realistic assumption since all modern patent pools are voluntary. In this paper, we present empirical evidence on participation rates and the factors that drive the decision to join a pool. We also summarize the various profit sharing rules found in modern patent pools, and explore the consequences of the rule chosen. We find that vertically integrated firms are more likely to join a patent pool and among those firms that do join, those with relatively symmetric patent contributions to a standard appear more likely to accept numeric patent share rules for dividing royalty earnings.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 38
Keywords: Patent Pools, Standards Setting Organizations, Intellectual Property, Royalty Sharing
JEL Classification: L1, O3, K21, L41working papers series
Date posted: November 19, 2006 ; Last revised: January 26, 2009
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