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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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A Tale of Two Standards: Patent Pools and Innovation in the Optical Disk Drive Industry

Kenneth Flamm

NBER Working Paper No. 18931
Issued in March 2013

---- Acknowledgments ----

I am grateful to Anustubh Agnihotri, Blake Messer, Sankar Rengarajan, and Amin Shams for their invaluable research assistance on this project, and to participants in the NBER preā€meeting on Patents, Standards, and Innovation conference in May, 2011, and the NBER Patents, Standards, and Innovation conference in January 2012. Without implicating them in my errors, I thank Rudy Bekkers, Shane Greenstein, and Tim Simcoe for very useful comments on a prior draft. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0830389. I note that I first became aware of the fascinating history of these two patent pools while serving as a consultant providing factual analysis to a party involved in antitrust litigation in the optical disk drive industry. The effect of the patent pools on innovation has not been at issue in the litigation. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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