Why Do R&D-Intensive Firms Participate in Standards Organizations? The Role of Patents and Product-Market Position
44 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2018 Last revised: 20 May 2019
Date Written: April 1, 2019
This paper examines the determinants of participation of R&D-intensive firms in standards development. Using data on R&D spending, patent, and trademark activities of the world's largest corporate R&D investors and their membership of standards organizations, we find a highly robust positive association between a firm's R&D spending and its participation in standards development. However, the causal effect of R&D spending on membership of standards organizations is conditional upon the firm's patent and/or product-market position, and varies across different types of standards organizations. More specifically, a strong patent position amplifies the effect of R&D spending on participation in standards-developing organizations, while a strong product-market position strengthens the impact of R&D spending on participation in the organizations that promote established standards. Finally, we also show that policy changes that increase the value of patents, such as variations in the preferential tax treatment of patent-related revenue, induce R&D-intensive firms to intensify their participation in standards organizations.
Keywords: standards organizations, R&D expenditures, patents, trademarks
JEL Classification: L24, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation