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Title: "Making the World Safe for Standard Setting"
Author: Phil Weiser University of Colorado - Law School
Publication Date: July 27 2007
Free/Fee: Free Access
Reads: 3158
Abstract: The stance of antitrust oversight of standard setting activities remains a work-in-progress. Over time, antitrust authorities have grown increasingly hospitable to cooperative standard setting efforts whereby jointly developed standards will facilitate the development of new products or services. In the information industries, such standards are ubiquitous and, moreover, are set by international standard setting organizations (SSOs) like the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). To be successful, SSOs must develop strategies to prevent firms from patenting technologies used in official standards and charging exorbitant royalties once a standard is adopted. In particular, SSOs face a range of options in terms of policies that govern the use of patents in official standards - even within the popular strategy of mandating reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) access to patents necessary to practice a standard. With multi-jurisdictional oversight of SSOs, the role of antitrust law - if inconsistent and overly aggressive - could be counterproductive.
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