Payments and Participation: The Incentives to Join Cooperative Standard Setting Efforts
42 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2011
Date Written: July 29, 2011
This paper studies the effects of a Standard Setting Organization (SSO) imposing a licensing cap for patents incorporated into a standard. In particular, we evaluate the "Incremental Value" rule as a way to reward firms that contribute technology to a standard. This rule has been proposed as a means of avoiding patent hold-up of licensing firms by granting patent holders compensation equal to the value that their technology contributes to the standard on an ex-ante basis, as compared to the next best alternative. Our analysis shows that even in contexts where this rule is efficient from an ex-post point of view, it induces important distortions in the decisions of firms to innovate and participate in the SSO. Specifically, firms being rewarded according to this rule will inefficiently decide not to join the SSO, under the expectation that their technology becomes ex-post essential at which point they may negotiate larger payments from the SSO.
Keywords: Intellectual Property, Standard Setting Organizations, Licensing, Incremental Value
JEL Classification: L15, L24, O31, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation