NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Kenneth Flamm

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Working Papers

March 2013A Tale of Two Standards: Patent Pools and Innovation in the Optical Disk Drive Industry
w18931
The impact of patent pools on the rate and direction of technological change is an open question in both theoretical and empirical studies. Economic theory makes no unequivocal prediction. By contrast, empirical studies of patent pools, to date, have largely concluded that patent pools have been associated with reduced rates of technical innovation in the industries studied. This study differs from previous empirical studies of patent pools by focusing primarily on direct measures of innovation in product markets, rather than on indirect correlates of innovation (like patents), and by exploiting variation over time in how pools were organized in the same technology area. The paper analyzes the economic history of two successive sets of patent pools organized in substantially the same techn...

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