Research Paper 21, June 2009

IPR Misuse: The Core Issue in Standards and Patents.

Standards cover nearly all fields, including pharmaceuticals, food production, the environment, energy, information and telecommunications. Problems arise when IPRs are included in standards and a balance cannot be struck between the private interests of IPR owners and the integrity of standardization. This paper illuminates the manipulation on the part of IPR holders in the context of standardization resulting in a severely distorted market. It further examines the limits and failure of current ‘solutions’ related to the exclusionary effects of IPRs in international standards and attempts to expound the importance of this theme around the following questions:

  • 1. How could the existing IPR information disclosure policy be improved so that it is practically reliable?
  • 2. While RAND has been proposed as a principle, who defines what a ‘reasonable’ cost is and how?
  • 3. What should government agencies do in order to mitigate or eliminate IPR misuses in standardization?
  • 4. What strategic considerations are needed to carry this issue forward in international negotiations?


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