Over-Declaration of Standard Essential Patents and Determinants of Essentiality
SSRN, April 12, 2017
In a paper coauthored with economists from an international high-tech firm, Managing Principal Marc Van Audenrode and Principal Jimmy Royer analyze factors contributing to the over-declaration of standard essential patents (SEPs). Companies self-declare SEPs in order to cover technologies necessary to meet industry standards established by independent standard setting organizations. However, because patent holders are required to declare all patents that might be essential, some of the patents at issue may not actually rise to the level of essentiality.
In “Over-Declaration of Standard Essential Patents and Determinants of Essentiality,” posted in a pre-print version on SSRN, the authors analyze a set of SEPs declared for the 4G LTE cellular standard in order to identify patent and company attributes associated with technical essentiality. They find that technical essentiality is best predicted if the declaration is made against a specific technical specification document. These and other insights from the study may be useful for informing the ongoing policy debates over standards, licensing of SEPs, and the patent system.