Intellectual Property Rights and Standardization: The Case of GSM

Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier Science, Spring 2002, pp 171-188.

18 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2015

See all articles by Rudi Bekkers

Rudi Bekkers

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE)

Bart Verspagen

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE)

Jan M. Smits

Law and Technology; University of Technology Eindhoven

Date Written: 2002

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of intellectual property rights (IPRs) in the process of standardization in the telecommunications industry. We take the global system for mobile communications (GSM) case as a highly relevant example, being part of a high-tech industry in which standards play a large role. In the process of designing the GSM standard, a lot of attention has been given to IPRs, mainly to avoid a situation in which a single IPR holder could hamper or even totally block the development of the standard. Nevertheless, the ultimate GSM standard contains a large amount of so-called ‘essential IPRs’, i.e., IPRs without which the implementation of GSM products is impossible. The paper provides a general discussion of the development of GSM and presents a database on the essential IPRs in the GSM standard. This database has been compiled on the basis of international patent statistics, and the data that manufacturers have supplied to European Telecommunications Standards Institute, the European standardization body responsible for defining the GSM standard. We use this database to assess the dynamic IPR position of firms in the original GSM standard and its subsequent development.

We use the GSM case to underline the importance of a general European policy with regard to IPRs and standardization, and derive several concrete recommendations for such a policy.

Keywords: IPR, GSM, Telecommunications, Standardization, Policy, ETSI

JEL Classification: O34, L96, K11, K33

Suggested Citation

Bekkers, Rudi and Verspagen, Bart and Smits, Jan M., Intellectual Property Rights and Standardization: The Case of GSM (2002). Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier Science, Spring 2002, pp 171-188., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2580099

Rudi Bekkers

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) ( email )

Den Dolech 3, PO Box 513, Room IPO 2.40
Eindhoven, 5600MB
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://home.ieis.tue.nl/rbekkers/

Bart Verspagen

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) ( email )

PO Box 513
Eindhoven, 5600 MB
Netherlands

Jan M. Smits (Contact Author)

Law and Technology ( email )

P.O. Box 513
5600 MB Eindhoven
Netherlands

University of Technology Eindhoven ( email )

PO Box 513
Den Dolech 2
Eindhoven, 5600 MB
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.tue.nl

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
64
Abstract Views
573
rank
422,926
PlumX Metrics