Standards, Intellectual Property Rights, and Strategic Patenting: Evidence from the IETF

48 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2014 Last revised: 23 Dec 2015

See all articles by Wen Wen

Wen Wen

University of Texas at Austin - McCombs School of Business

Chris Forman

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

Sirkka Jarvenpaa

University of Texas at Austin - Red McCombs School of Business

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Date Written: September 30, 2014

Abstract

How does the development of formal standards for information and communication technologies shape the behavior of firms that may need the technologies to develop new products and services? We argue that standardization lowers the search costs of identifying important intellectual property rights (IPR) for standards users and reduces uncertainty related to licensing terms. These changes can clarify the risks of IPR infringement for standards-related technologies and thus decrease strategic patenting by standards users. Using data from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to study the behavior of firms who use but do not contribute to standards, we find that an increase in the number of IETF standards in a technological area is associated with a decline in strategic patenting in the area. The effects become larger in environments where patent rights have been strengthened or when standards-contributing firms hold a larger proportion of related patents.

Keywords: defensive patenting, intellectual property rights, standardization, standards, strategic patenting

JEL Classification: L15, L86, O34

Suggested Citation

Wen, Wen and Forman, Chris and Jarvenpaa, Sirkka, Standards, Intellectual Property Rights, and Strategic Patenting: Evidence from the IETF (September 30, 2014). NET Institute Working Paper No. 14-20, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2507478 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2507478

Wen Wen (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - McCombs School of Business ( email )

2110 Speedway Stop B6500
Austin, TX 78712
United States

Chris Forman

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States

Sirkka Jarvenpaa

University of Texas at Austin - Red McCombs School of Business ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States

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