FIRM PATENT STRATEGIES IN US TECHNOLOGY STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT
THOMAS A. HEMPHILL
The focus of this article is on exploring the business competitive consequences of firm patent strategies in the United States de jure technology standard development processes. An analytic framework ("Firm Patent Strategies Matrix") is created which formally identifies a set of firm patent strategies applicable in the de jure technology standard development process. This Firm Patent Strategies Matrix is predicated on two key variables relevant to the standard development process: first, firms are either active participants in standard-setting committees, or they are non-participants, and second, firms are either disclosing appropriate information on potentially relevant patented technology (or patent pending applications on such technology), or they are not disclosing such potentially relevant patented information on technology (or patent pending applications on such technology), in the standard development process. The Firm Patent Strategies Matrix identifies the following four generic strategic choices for a technology-driven firm to choose among concerning the disposition of its patents: (1) Disclosure/Participation, (2) Disclosure/Non-Participation, (3) Non-Disclosure/Participation, and (4) Non-Disclosure/Non-Participation. Public policy issues, relevant to these Firm Patent Strategies, are identified (e.g., RAND licencing terms, patent ambush and submarine patents) and recommended policy solutions are offered (e.g., instituting Ex Ante royalty discussions, vigorous federal antitrust enforcement against patent ambush and the wider use of firm patent liability insurance, respectively).
American National Standards Institute, Federal Trade Commission, Firm patent strategies, intellectual property rights, knowledge-based view, patents, Standards Development Organisations, Technology standards
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