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The structure and the emergence of essential patents for standards: Lessons from three IT standards

Sadao Nagaoka, Naotoshi Tsukada and Tomoyuki Shimbo
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Naotoshi Tsukada: Hitotsubashi University
Tomoyuki Shimbo: Yamagata University

A chapter in Schumpeterian Perspectives on Innovation, Competition and Growth, 2009, pp 435-450 from Springer

Abstract: Abstract This paper examines the structure and the evolution of the patents judged as essential for three major recent technical standards in information technology (MPEG2, DVD and W-CDMA). We have found that these standards have many essential patents, which are owned by many firms with different interests. The number of essential patents has increased significantly over time since the standard was set. We identify three reasons for why the essential patents are many and increase over time: they cover a number of different technology fields, there exists R&D competition even in a narrowly defined technology field, and a firm can expand its patent portfolio by using continuation and the other practices based on the priority dates of its earlier filed patent applications in the USA. Around 40% of the essential US patents for MPEG2 and DVD standards have been obtained by using these applications. However, our analysis does not support the view that a firm with a pioneering patent can obtain more essential patents, using these practices.

Keywords: Standard; Essential patent; Continuations (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O31 O34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
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DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-93777-7_23

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