Patents and Industry Standards

Patents and Industry Standards

Jae Hun Park

This insightful book reviews the inherent conflict between patent rights and industry standards and through analysis of both US and European case law proposes measures to improve current systems and foster greater innovation.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Jae Hun Park

Subjects: law - academic, intellectual property law

Extract

1. BACKGROUND This book aims to resolve the issues arising from the clash between two conflicting interests. More precisely, this book seeks to reconcile the conflict between compatibility standards and patents and to find the right balance between them. In network markets,1 consumers purchase not a single product but a system which is composed of several compatible products.2 For instance, when buying a computer, a consumer buys not a single product computer but a computer system consisting of hardware, such as a main board, a keyboard, a mouse, a monitor and speakers, and software, such as operating systems and application software. It is easily verified that the various components of a computer system are often produced by different producers. Since all of the elements of a computer system, which are produced by distinct firms, have to be combined to compose a computer system, they have to be compatible. Thus, compatibility between products is essential in these markets, and this need for compatibility inevitably leads the markets to implement technical standards. Standards3 often include technologies that are covered by patents because standards are likely to be based on advanced technologies rather than obvious ones and because patents are granted to novel and inventive technologies.4 1 ‘Network markets’ has a broad meaning, including information technology markets, communication markets, railway system markets and credit card markets. However, network markets in this book are the markets of information and communication technology (ICT), where ICT is a ‘term that includes any communication device or...