patent policy

What Young Innovative Companies Want: Formulating Bottom-Up Patent Policy for the Internet of Things

What Young Innovative Companies Want: Formulating Bottom-Up  Patent Policy for the Internet of Things
The potential anticompetitive sequences of standard essential patents have been identified by the European Commission as a key area of policy formulation for the Internet of Things. Throughout the process of policy formulation, the input of young innovative companies may require additional consideration as illustrated by the series of thirty-one in-depth interviews undertaken with key figures in young innovative companies (YICs) across Europe. The information gathered shows that that the way the E.C. conceptualized the policy issues at stake is not wrong, but may be incomplete. While it is important to promote a better understanding of what the FRAND promise entails, young innovative companies showed a remarkable disconnect to the patent system as a whole. They not only lacked intellectual property awareness, but many also thought that the Internet of Things could be helped by open source software, rather than a standard essential patents regime. Against this background, this study strongly encouraged the European Commission to better integrate young innovative companies in the process of patent policy formulation. The fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) guideline the Commission issued at the end of November 2017, reflected the findings of this study by recognizing the need to raise FRAND awareness among YICs and SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Companies). Keywords: Internet of Things, patents, standards, FRAND, European Union policy, competition, young innovative companies, governance, patent policy

An Empirical Study of University Patent Activity

An Empirical Study of University Patent Activity
Since 1980, a series of legislative acts and judicial decisions have affected the ownership, scope, and duration of patents. These changes have coincided with historic increases in patent activity among academic institutions. This article presents an empirical study of how changes to patent policy precipitated responses by academic institutions, using spline regression functions to model their patent activity. We find that academic institutions typically reduced patent activity immediately before changes to the patent system, and increased patent activity immediately afterward. This is especially true among research universities. In other words, academic institutions responded to patent incentives in a strategic manner, consistent with firm behavior, by reacting to the preferences of internal coalitions to capture unrealized economic value in intellectual property. University patent activity, as a response to patent law changes, carries important economic and normative implications. The patent system uses private economic incentives to promote innovation, but academic institutions are charitable organizations intended to promote the public good. This study demonstrates that patent incentives may have encouraged academic institutions to invest in patentable innovation—in ways that potentially limit access to innovation—in order to internalize private economic value.