Truly Standard-Essential Patents? A Semantics-Based Analysis

47 Pages Posted: 20 May 2020

See all articles by Lorenz Brachtendorf

Lorenz Brachtendorf

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Fabian Gaessler

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Dietmar Harhoff

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition; Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: May 2020

Abstract

Standard-essential patents (SEPs) have become a key element of technical coordination in standard-setting organizations. Yet, in many cases, it remains unclear whether a declared SEP is truly standard-essential. To date, there is no automated procedure that allows for a scalable and objective assessment of SEP status. This paper introduces a semantics-based method for approximating the standard essentiality of patents. We provide details on the procedure that generates the measure of standard essentiality and present the results of several validation exercises. In a first empirical application we illustrate the measure's usefulness in estimating the share of true SEPs in firm patent portfolios for several mobile telecommunication standards. We find firm-level differences that are statistically significant and economically substantial. Furthermore, we observe a general decline in the average share of presumably true SEPs between successive standard generations.

Keywords: patents, standard essentiality, standard-setting organizations, standards

JEL Classification: L24, O33, O34

Suggested Citation

Brachtendorf, Lorenz and Gaessler, Fabian and Harhoff, Dietmar, Truly Standard-Essential Patents? A Semantics-Based Analysis (May 2020). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14726, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3603956

Lorenz Brachtendorf (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Fabian Gaessler

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany

Dietmar Harhoff

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany
+49 89 24246 550 (Phone)
+49 89 24246 599 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ip.mpg.de

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München ( email )

Munich, 80539
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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