RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS: WORKING PAPERS
Interplay between Patents and Standards in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Sector and its Relevance to the Implementation of the WTO Agreements
The interplay between patents and standards in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector has been intensively debated at international, regional and national levels over the past decades. In essence, the debate is firstly about the extent and impact of patent holdup and holdout in the ICT sector, and then about how to eliminate or reduce these practices.
While standard setting organizations (SSOs), industry bodies, as well as judicial and administrative authorities have made great efforts to solve the issue of patent holdup and holdout, there is still an ongoing struggle among divergent stakeholders. Patent holdup and holdout directly impacts the innovation and dissemination of patented technology, the harmonization and implementation of standards, and international trade, which are promoted by the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement). This working paper provides an overview of the current debate on patent holdup and holdout in the ICT sector, analyses existing policy measures and their limitations, and then highlights the relevance of the WTO to this debate.
Authors: Xiaoping Wu
Manuscript date: April 2017
patent, patent holdup, patent holdout, standards, standard setting organizations, FRAND, competition, injunctions, royalties, WTO TRIPS, WTO TBT
JEL classification numbers:
K11, K13, K15, K30, O34back to top
This is a working paper, and hence it represents research in progress. The opinions expressed in this paper are those of its author. They are not intended to represent the positions or opinions of the WTO or its members and are without prejudice to members' rights and obligations under the WTO. Any errors are attributable to the author.
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