Standards, Intellectual Property Rights, and Strategic Patenting: Evidence from the IETF

49 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2016

See all articles by Wen Wen

Wen Wen

University of Texas at Austin - McCombs School of Business

Sirkka Jarvenpaa

University of Texas at Austin - Red McCombs School of Business

Chris Forman

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management; Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business

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Date Written: December 31, 2015

Abstract

How does the development of formal standards for information and communication technologies shape the behavior of firms that may need the technologies to develop new products and services? We argue that standardization lowers the search costs of identifying important intellectual property rights (IPR) for standards users and reduces uncertainty related to licensing terms. These changes can clarify the risks of IPR infringement for standards-related technologies and thus decrease strategic patenting by standards users. Using data from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to study the behavior of firms who use but do not contribute to standards, we find that an increase in the number of IETF standards in a technological area is associated with a decline in strategic patenting in the area. The effects become larger in environments where patent rights have been strengthened or when standards-contributing firms hold a larger proportion of related patents.

Keywords: defensive patenting, intellectual property rights, standardization, standards, strategic patenting

JEL Classification: L15, L86, O34

Suggested Citation

Wen, Wen and Jarvenpaa, Sirkka and Forman, Chris, Standards, Intellectual Property Rights, and Strategic Patenting: Evidence from the IETF (December 31, 2015). Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business Research Paper No. #35, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2709645 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2709645

Wen Wen

University of Texas at Austin - McCombs School of Business ( email )

2110 Speedway Stop B6500
Austin, TX 78712
United States

Sirkka Jarvenpaa

University of Texas at Austin - Red McCombs School of Business ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States

Chris Forman (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States

Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business ( email )

800 West Peachtree St.
Atlanta, GA 30308
United States

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