Empirical Studies of Patent Pools
Research Handbook on the Economics of Intellectual Property Law - Vol. II: Analytical Methods (P. Menell, D. Schwartz & B. Depoorter eds., Edward Elgar) (Forthcoming)
24 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2019
Date Written: February 20, 2019
This book chapter from the forthcoming Research Handbook on the Economics of Intellectual Property Law provides an overview of the legal and economic impact of patent pools, with a special focus on the methods scholars have used to study these institutions empirically. Patent pools are privately governed institutions that license complementary patent rights under unified agreements. Licensees of the aggregated rights typically include members of the pool (i.e., licensors), and technology manufacturers, service providers, or researchers who are not members (sometimes referred to herein as “pure licensees”).
The discussion is divided into five parts: first, sources that helped develop the historical record of patent pools; second, methods scholars have used to assess the impact of patent pools on competition and innovation; third, works that explore the relationship between patent pooling and litigation; fourth, new methods used to estimate the transaction cost savings of patent pools; and fifth, works that examine whether patent pools are useful forums for patent valuation. Because the present volume is focused on analytical methods used within empirical studies, economic and legal scholarship concerning pools that is not primarily empirical in nature (e.g., theoretical work) is discussed only to help explain the motivation for, or conclusions of, empirical studies.
Keywords: patent pools, patent pooling, patent clearinghouse, patent thickets, collective action problem, FRAND
JEL Classification: K00, O34, D45, O31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation