The Role of Patents in Information and Communication Technologies: A Survey of the Literature

27 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2019

See all articles by Stefano Comino

Stefano Comino

Università degli Studi di Udine

Fabio M. Manenti

University of Padua - Department of Economics and Management

Nikolaus Thumm

Joint Research Center of the European Commission

Date Written: April 2019

Abstract

During the last few decades, the number of patents in information and communication technologies has increased considerably. An increasing number of patents and the associated fragmentation of IP rights have generated a series of potentially problematic consequences. Patent thickets, royalty stacking, the emergence of patent assertion entities, increased patent litigation – particularly around standard essential patents – and the difficulties with defining fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory licensing terms are some of the most debated issues in the literature that we review in this paper. We devote a specific section of our survey to patent quality, currently one of the most debated issues surrounding the patent system. In our analysis, we mix theoretical and empirical arguments with a more policy‐oriented reasoning. This allows us to better position the different issues in the relevant political and economic context.

Keywords: Cumulative innovation, FRAND, ICTs, Market for ideas, Patents, Software

Suggested Citation

Comino, Stefano and Manenti, Fabio M. and Thumm, Nikolaus, The Role of Patents in Information and Communication Technologies: A Survey of the Literature (April 2019). Journal of Economic Surveys, Vol. 33, Issue 2, pp. 404-430, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3349327 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joes.12277

Stefano Comino (Contact Author)

Università degli Studi di Udine ( email )

Via Tarcisio Petracco, Palazzo antonini, 8
Udine, 33100
Italy

Fabio M. Manenti

University of Padua - Department of Economics and Management ( email )

via Del Santo 33
Padova, 35123
Italy

Nikolaus Thumm

Joint Research Center of the European Commission

1049
Spain

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