Joining Standards Organizations: The Role of R&D Expenditures, Patents, and Product-Market Position
38 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2018
Date Written: November 19, 2018
This paper studies collaborative innovation in the context of the development of open technology standards coordinated by standards organizations. Using consolidated longitudinal data from the world's largest R&D performing firms matched with membership information from 180 standards organizations, we analyze the firm-level determinants of the extent of participation in standards development. We identify a highly robust positive effect of a firm's R&D expenditure on its involvement in standards organizations, and find this impact being further bolstered by the firm's patenting intensity and/or product-market position. Exploiting exogenous variations induced by preferential tax treatment, we find a causal positive effect of patenting intensity on the participation of R&D-intensive firms in standards organizations. This effect is, however, only significant for membership in organizations developing standards potentially subject to Standard-Essential Patents. Our findings also underscore the significant role of the firm's product-market position in incentivizing engagement in standards development, as exemplified by trademarking intensity, brand value or number of standard-compliant end product models. Managerial and policy implications are discussed.
Keywords: standards organizations, technology standards, intellectual property, R&D expenditures, patents, trademarks
JEL Classification: L24, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation