Interoperability standards, patents and competition policy.

Pierre Larouche, Geertrui Van Overwalle

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


    While the traditional literature and the policy statements concerning standardization as such emphasize the benefits of standardization, the intellectual property and competition law literature and policymaking has been more critical of standardization. Intellectual property is relevant, as the technology embedded in a standard is often protected with so-called Standard Essential Patents (SEPs). Similarly, competition law is relevant to the collective behaviour of private firms in creating and operating Standard-Setting Organisations (SSOs), and to their individual behaviour in notifying and licensing their intellectual property. In recent litigation, three issues have risen to the fore, popularized under the labels “patent ambush”, “patent holdup” and “patent thickets”. There is a risk that the discussion of standardization, in academic and policy circles, becomes reduced to these issues. The paper advocates a more holistic approach, and sets out avenues for future research, including an investigation of the consequences of a broader and more nuanced view of the various parameters of standardization, an analysis of the relationship between standards and innovation, and a review of the interplay between the private and public aspects of standardization.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe law, economics and politics of international standardisation
    EditorsPanagiotis Delimatsis
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Number of pages26
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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