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Intellectual Property Rights, Strategic Technology Agreements and Market Structure, The Case of GSM

Rudi Bekkers, Geert Duysters () and Bart Verspagen

No 29, Research Memorandum from Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT)

Abstract: This paper investigates the role of intellectual property rights (IPRs) in shaping the GSM industry. Thisindustry is an example of a high-tech industry in which standards play a large role. In the process ofdesigning the GSM standard, a lot of attention has been given to IPRs, mainly to avoid a situation inwhich a single IPR holder could hamper or even totally block the development of the standard.Nevertheless, the ultimate GSM standard contains a large amount of so-called essential IPRs, i.e., IPRswithout which the implementation of GSM products is impossible.The paper starts with a general discussion of the development of GSM, and the role of firm strategy andIPRs in this process. Next, we present a database on the essential IPRs in the GSM standard. This databasehas been compiled on the basis of international patent statistics, and the data that manufacturers havesupplied to ETSI, the European standardization body responsible for defining the GSM standard. We usethis database to assess the dynamic IPR position of firms in the original GSM standard and its subsequentdevelopment.

Keywords: economics of technology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2000
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