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Patent Pools: Licensing Strategies in the Absence of Regulation

22 Pages Posted: 7 May 2012  

Ryan Lampe

California State University, East Bay - Department of Economics

Petra Moser

Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: March 31, 2012

Abstract

Patent pools allow competing firms to combine their patents and license them as a package to outside firms. Regulators today favor pools that license their patents freely to outside firms, making it difficult to observe the unconstrained licensing strategies of patent pools. This paper takes advantage of a unique period of regulatory tolerance during the New Deal to investigate the unconstrained licensing decisions of pools. Archival evidence suggests that - in the absence of regulation - pools may not choose to license their technologies. Eleven of 20 pools that formed between 1930 and 1938 did not issue any licenses to outside firms. Three pools granted one, two, and three licenses, respectively, to resolve litigation. Six pools issued between 9 and 185 licenses. Archival evidence suggests that these pools used licensing as a means to limit competition with substitute technologies.

Keywords: Patent Pools, Licensing, Patents, Intellectual Property, Economic History

JEL Classification: K00, N00, N42, O34

Suggested Citation

Lampe, Ryan and Moser, Petra, Patent Pools: Licensing Strategies in the Absence of Regulation (March 31, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2053797 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2053797

Ryan Lampe (Contact Author)

California State University, East Bay - Department of Economics ( email )

25800 Carlos Bee Blvd.
Hayward, CA 94542
United States

Petra Moser

Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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